Recycle and donate: How a local non-profit is using your Christmas lights for good
EUGENE, Ore. - Now that Christmas is over, families all around the country will be taking down their decorations and getting ready for the new year.
The stockings will go back into storage, the lights will come off the roof, and the tree will make it's way back outside. For some, you may even be taking a trip to the mall to return or exchange a gift.
To help with the cleaning up process, one company in Eugene is taking your old Christmas lights to help those in need.
Next Step ReUse Store in Eugene acts as a cemetery for Christmas lights. But for many of the lights they receive this year, they will be doing more than just sitting around for the next 365 days.
Next Step's Ta'Shayla Slaton says they are on their way to being recycled for profit.
"So far we have collected 3,000 pounds, that's about $1,000 worth," said Slaton.
But that money isn't going back into their pockets. Instead, they are giving it to a couple of charities in town.
"So with us being able to recycle these and break it down for them, we are helping organizations that can help families in need in the community," said Slaton.
On top of the donations, Slaton says that trowing away Christmas lights, or improperly trying to recycle them is bad for the environment.
Lane County Waste Management wants you to know what else you can and can't recycle now that Christmas is over.
"So paper that's really special paper that might be plastic coated or foil coated, those things aren't recyclable," said Kelly Bell, the Master Recycling Coordinator at LCWM.
Regular wrapping paper is okay to recycle, but the ribbon attached to it has to go.
Kelly also says that the county doesn't recycle Styrofoam either, but your local St. Vincent de Paul's does.
So now that your gifts are open, and you're ready to take down the decorations, be careful with the next thing you give to your recycling bin.
In terms of disposing your Christmas tree, there are several groups in Lane County that will come to your house and take it from you, including Boy Scout Troop 182. To set up a pick up, you can call 541-554-7501.