3,500 lbs. of holiday lights

Covington, counties protect the environment through special recycling program

COVINGTON, Ky. – Three holidays (well, four if you count the Super Bowl), have come and gone since most people sang “O Tannenbaum” for the last time in 2022, took down their holiday tree and stripped it of lights, tinsel, ornaments, and any National Lampoon-inspired squirrel that took up residence.

In other words, just yesterday.

Which makes this a perfect day to report on the totals for the recycling program that allowed residents to drop off non-working light strands instead of tossing them straight into the trash.

In Covington alone, the City’s Solid Waste & Recycling Division and partners Keep Covington Beautiful and Cohen Recycling collected 507 pounds of lights at four drop-off locations.

In the broader Kenton County area, 1,819 pounds were collected at eight locations. Across the Licking River in Campbell County, 760 pounds were collected at six locations. And out in Boone County, 414 pounds of lights were collected at three locations. That’s a total of 3,500 pounds of lights.

Copper wiring and contacts were stripped out of the lights at Cohen Recycling for reuse.

The program saved landfill space, kept metals out of the earth, and earned local governments a nominal fee, said Sheila Fields, Covington’s Solid Waste & Recycling Manager.

“We were glad to see the expansion of the holiday light recycling initiative across Northern Kentucky this past year as more and more partners and local governments decided to take part,” Fields said. “But there is a lot of room to grow with those numbers. We want to make it easier for people to recycle materials that aren’t accepted in curbside programs but really need to be kept out of the environment.”

Trees into mulch

Meanwhile, the City of Covington also saved landfill space by collecting 657 discarded natural holiday trees to be turned into mulch. That included 92 trees collected by Rumpke Waste & Recycling, 157 trees dropped off at three collection points, and 408 unsold trees from retailer Kroger Co.

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