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Advice on properly recycling your Christmas lights and old electronics

Posted at 5:51 AM, Dec 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-21 06:04:24-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — After the holidays are over and you start to clean up, you may be wondering what to do with Christmas lights you don’t want anymore.

A lot of people actually toss them in their recycling bins, but the Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority says that is the last thing they want you to do.

RELATED: Recycling advice this holiday season

Christmas lights are what they call "tanglers." Much like garden hoses and other similar items, they get wrapped up in the machines when they go through the recycling center.

The Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority says that can cause all operations to come to a standstill, costing time and money to get things back up and running.

“We actually have to shut down the facility and get things like this out of our equipment and it actually wastes time and is a big problem. And we know people are trying to do the right thing, and put them in the recycling bin hoping they get recycled,” said Palm Beach County SWA spokeswoman Becky Robinson.

The best thing to do with those lights is take them to one of the county’s seven home chemical and recycling centers, allowing SWA to properly dispose of them.

The public can also bring old televisions, phones and other electronics to these drop off locations to dispose of them. These stations also accept paint, cooking oil, motor oil and more.

"These are places where people can bring those wastes they have at home that they know don’t go in the garbage, they don’t go in the blue and yellow recycling bin but they’re not sure what to do with them. So, things like electronics, Christmas lights but also things like TVs, phones, paint,” said Robinson.

Click here to learn more about safely disposing hazardous chemicals and electronics, along with a list of area locations.