For the fifth consecutive year, Ace Hardware stores are accepting extension cords and strands of holiday lights for recycling to benefit Lights For Life. Lights For Life is a nonprofit organization that strives to make life easier for kids with cancer and their families. Participating Ace Hardware stores will accept light strands and extension cords November 1, 2012 - February 15, 2013.
Lights For Life sells the donated light strands and extension cords to a recycling company for the copper and PVC they contain. The money raised is used to help children with cancer and their families cover the cost of medical bills and other expenses not covered by insurance, as well as to fund kids' camps and childhood cancer research.
Last year, Ace Hardware customers across the three states donated more than 30,000 pounds of holiday lights to the campaign, raising nearly $14,000 for families of children diagnosed with cancer. This brings the total amount of lights donated by local Ace customers since 2008 to more than 100,000 pounds, raising nearly $50,000.
"Every year there are more options for decorating with energy efficient, longer-lasting LED light strands, and every year more shoppers are making the switch from traditional incandescent holiday lights to LED lights," said Clark Evans, manager of Orchards Ace Hardware in Loveland. "This program gives Ace Hardware shoppers a way to keep old and broken light strands out of the landfill and put them to good use helping local families. We hope to see even more consumers donating their light strands this year than in years past."
According to Consumer Reports, a typical homeowner spends approximately $11 in energy costs to burn 50 feet of traditional lights for 300 hours, while the same use of LED lights costs less than 15 cents. LED lights are also more durable than incandescent lights, often lasting as much as ten times longer than traditional lights, and because LED lights burn cooler they are safer to use and reduce the risk of fire.
"Each year, more than 200 million strings of lights are sold in the U.S., and most of them end up in the landfill," said Linda Worthington, marketing director of Lights For Life. "It's so simple to drop your old or broken lights in a collection bin at an Ace Hardware store instead of in the trash, and it makes such a big difference to the families of kids who are battling cancer."
The holiday light recycling program adds to the growing list recycling programs offered by Country Ace Hardware in Granby. In addition to the Saturday free household recycling program Ace Hardware in Granby hosts in its parking lot, they also accept used compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), mercury-containing thermostats, used cell phones and rechargeable batteries for recycling.