Environment
8:52 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Kansas City Company Pushes Holiday Light Recycling

Miles of Christmas lights could be headed out the door as more consumers look at switching from traditional holiday lights to their LED counterparts. Kansas City-based Southeast Enterprises is looking to keep the discarded strands out of landfills.

Southeast Enterprises Business Director Megan Gurera says they accept any unused or broken strands of lights.

“You know the ones you pullout, get ready to put up, and half of it works,” says Gurera.

Southeast Enterprises is a sheltered workshop, employing 160 people with development or intellectual disabilities.

Last year, workers there spent nearly three months disassembling the lights. All the parts are recycled and the copper is sold to pay the workers’ wages. Grants and sponsorships cover the rest.

Southeast Enterprises has drop-off locations for light recycling at area Wal-Marts, several local school districts, Mid-Continent public libraries, and other locations.

The drive lasts until Jan. 26, 2014 at most locations.

Gurera says last year they recycled 31,000 pounds of lights and hope to do more this year as more people buy LED lights.