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Portage Co. opens annual holiday light recycling program

By Patrick Lynn

The Portage County Solid Waste Department has opened its holiday light recycling program for the 2023-24 season.

Light strands should not be recycled curbside, according to Solid Waste Director Amanda Haffele.

“They wrap around sorting equipment and cause inefficient sorting and costly shutdowns to remove the lights from sorting equipment,” said Haffele, who oversees the Portage County Material Recovery Facility. “They can even cause problems at landfills by wrapping around compactor tires.”

To help combat the problem, the department is holding its annual holiday lights program. It’s now open and operates through the end of January 20243.

Strands of holiday lights can be dropped off at any of the following locations:

  • Portage County MRF, 600 Moore Rd., Plover
  • City of Stevens Point public drop-off, 100 Sixth Ave.
  • Recycling Connections, 1100 Main St. Suite 120, Stevens Point. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday – Friday
  • Village of Plover, Veterans Memorial Park parking lot on the corner of Post Rd. and School Dr.
  • Village of Whiting Municipal Center, 3600 Water St.
  • Amherst Town Hall, 4023 County Q
  • Town of Hull Municipal Building, 4550 Wojcik Memorial Dr.
  • Lanark Town Hall, 7174 County Road TT

Only strands of lights will be accepted, no lighted figurines, rope lighting, extension cords, bags, or garbage. Lights should be bagged before they are dumped in the receptacles.

If contamination becomes an issue at any of these locations, the affected location may suspend the program early, Haffele said.