Holidays create piles of additional waste. In fact, it’s estimated household waste increases by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, adding an extra six tons of trash to landfills.
OSF HealthCare is hoping to divert at least some of the contributing waste by helping residents in some communities recycle unwanted Christmas lights. “OSF HealthCare tries to be a good steward of the land and resources. There is a significant effort to recycle which keeps items out of the landfill and ultimately saves money because it costs less to recycle,” said Steve Looney, Western Region Director of Facilities Operations.
In the first year of the campaign, OSF HealthCare Saint Luke prevented 98 pounds from being sent to the landfill. There is a friendly wager between the three Western Illinois OSF HealthCare hospitals and OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center in Mendota.
“We’ve created a competition this year so we’ll see who wins. I think we’ll be amazed at this year’s results,” said Looney. In fact, Looney predicted the Christmas light recycling effort among the four hospitals will result in keeping 500 pounds of the no-longer-working wire and bulbs out of local landfills. Recycling companies such as Eagle Enterprises in Galva, which has partnered to accept the lights, will separate the strings into raw materials including plastic, glass and copper which can be reused to make new products like slipper soles.
The drop-off site is located inside the Lobby at OSF HealthCare Saint Luke, 1051 West South Street Kewanee, Illinois. The unwanted lights can be dropped off through January 11, 2019.