Don't trash those twinklers. Recycle! Residents can drop off old and broken strands of lights through the Recycle Your Holidays program at the following locations:
• Dakota County Recycling Zone, 3365 Dodd Road, Eagan
• Ace Hardware and Paint, Inver Grove Heights
• Gertens Greenhouse, Inver Grove Heights
According to its website, Recycle Your Holiday is “a statewide holiday light recycling program in Minnesota created and managed by the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM). Drop off unwanted light strings at any of our 450+ participating locations during the holiday season starting November 15 through the end of January each year.”
Now what to do with the defunct Christmas tree? Word to the wise: It's illegal in Minnesota to put your real Christmas tree or wreath (or any yard waste) in the garbage.
If you don't wish to take it to the compost site yourself, most garbage haulers will provide pick-up services for real Christmas trees and wreaths one to three weeks after Christmas.
The Dakota County website says residents should call their garbage hauler for details.
Click here for a list of licensed trash haulers in Inver Grove Heights.
Click here for a list of license refuse haulers in Mendota Heights.
The following items must be removed from trees and wreaths: ornaments, lights, tinsel, stands, plastic bags and metal/wire.
Residents also can take their own trees to a compost facility.
• South St. Paul compost site
• NRG Processing Solutions, Empire Township
If you went plastic this year, you have several choices. You can throw them out or you can donate fake trees and wreaths.
Wrapping paper, tissue paper and gift bags aren't recyclable and should go in the garbage.