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9 eco-friendly holiday tips (including a holiday light collection drive)

Do you know what holiday waste goes in the green, blue, or gray carts?

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a child stands next to a christmas tree

Keep the holiday cheer going by recycling old or broken lights, instead of throwing them away.

Photo provided by Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government

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The holidays bring lots of cheer, but also create lots of trash. Wrapping paper, packaging for gifts, Christmas trees, wreaths, and non-reusable decorations are all types of holiday waste — but you can stay on the nice list this year by properly disposing of and/or recycling your holiday waste with the help of Live Green Lexington.

Here’s what to know:

  • Recycle lights and electronics: Special collection carts for broken string lights, old extension cords, power strips, and other electronics are available at 11 locations throughout Lexington until Sunday, Jan. 14.
  • Compost natural trees: Place your natural Christmas tree at the curb on regular collection days between Wednesday, Jan. 3 and Saturday, Jan. 27 for pickup and the city will compost it.
  • Wrapping goes in green: While some paper is recyclable, most wrapping paper, gift bags, padded envelopes, ribbons, bows, and strings are not — so be sure to put these items in your green trash cart.
  • Cardboard goes in blue: Flattened shipping boxes, shoe boxes, gift boxes, wrapping paper tubes, and other types of cardboard belong in your blue recycling cart.
  • Natural waste goes in gray: Wreaths, poinsettias, garland, holly, and other natural decor can all go in your gray yard waste cart.

Want to be extra eco-friendly for the holidays? Help reduce holiday waste by:

  • Shopping with reusable shopping bags
  • Reusing gift wrap, such as boxes or bags
  • Wrapping gifts in old newspaper or catalogs instead of new gift wrap
  • Gifting experiences, instead of things (we’re big fans of this one)

See the city’s full guidelines on holiday waste.


How many pounds of lights have Lexington residents collected for recycling since the annual drive began in 2018? Give us your best guess.