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How to recycle after the holidays

The holidays have ended, and if you haven’t done so already, the decorations will come down soon. It’s the perfect time to recycle holiday lights, trees, greenery, and even batteries and glass. These items are not accepted in curbside recycling bins. So to keep them out of the landfill, look for these easy recycling solutions near you. 

Recycle Holiday Lights

Whether your string lights have stopped working or you’ve replaced incandescent lights with LEDs, there are several options to recycle holiday lights for free.

Holiday lights contain glass, plastic, and copper that can be recycled and made into new products. Or, if your lights still work, they can often be donated to thrift stores.

The Kansas City Zoo is accepting holiday lights through Jan. 7, 2024, near the front gate at the guest relations desk. Drop them off 9:30 AM – 4 PM at 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, MO. 

Holiday lights can be recycled year-round at Midwest Recycling Center, Secure E-Cycle, Lee’s Summit Resource Recovery Park, and the Kansas City, Missouri Recycling Drop-Off centers.

They can also be recycled at additional retail and community locations during the winter holidays. To find a location near you, visit

Recycle Trees and Greenery

When the pine needles start to drop, your holiday trees, wreaths and garland are ready for a second life.

Area communities offer residents a number of ways to recycle greenery. This keeps them out of landfills by reusing them for a variety of purposes, including composting, trail surfaces, erosion control, landscaping, and fish habitat in local lakes.

Some municipalities offer their residents tree curbside pickup services including Merriam, KS; North Kansas City, MO; and Olathe, KS. Residents can call for information. 

To find more recycling options across the metro, see Greenability’s story about Christmas tree recycling

Looking to get rid of an artificial tree? Unfortunately, those can’t be recycled. Consider donating it to a thrift store or offering it to friends and neighbors. 

Recycle Batteries

Between holiday decorations and newly gifted gadgets, there’s a lot of batteries used over the holidays. Instead of putting dead batteries in a drawer and forgetting about them, take them to one of the many options in the metro area.

It’s recommended to recycle all batteries, especially lithium-based batteries. When disposed of in landfills, batteries can spark fires, and they pose a threat to public health and the environment. Recycling is also beneficial because batteries contain valuable materials that can be recovered during the recycling process.

To recycle single-use household batteries in the Kansas City metropolitan, here’s a few options to consider: 

Do yourself a favor and don’t make a single trip to recycle batteries. Start a collection box in your basement for broken electronics and batteries that could be recycled at an event later in the year or at an electronic recycling drop-off location. 

Be sure to safely store used batteries before recycling. If not handled properly, old batteries could spark. Store them in cardboard or plastic, and not in a metal container. Line them up so the contact points can’t touch or tape the terminals. If saved, the original packaging is great for storage. 

Visit for more information and options for recycling batteries. 

Recycle Glass

Glass can really pile up after all of the holiday celebrations. Since glass is not accepted in curbside recycling bins, collect it in a container and take it with you on your next round of errands. 

Find a glass recycling bin near you by visiting

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