The Teton Valley Community Recycling Switch Witch is moving on after a brief stint gathering unwanted Halloween candy at the GeoTourism Center for redistribution to local businesses. Fear not! She’s being replaced by her lesser-known cousin, the Broken Holiday Lights Fairy! TVCR will be collecting your broken light strings at the GeoTourism Center from now through January to recycle with electronic waste.
Better yet, we’ve joined forces with Creative Energies Solar, our Valley of the Tetons Library (both the Victor and Driggs branches), and the Alta Library to offer a new program to save your non-functional holiday light strings from being thrown away before their time!
Creative Energies has donated five Light Keeper Pro string light tester devices to our local communities. These will be available to borrow at the library circulation desks during the months of November, December, and January. Simply bring in your non-functioning light strands, take out a bulb, insert the device, and squeeze the trigger a few times. The device will either restore the circuit or identify faulty bulbs. If you find a dead bulb, feel free to pilfer bulbs from the Broken Holiday Lights Fairy – or any abandoned light string. If a fuse is blown, you can simply replace it at the hardware store. And if the light strand really has finished its useful lifespan, the copper wire and other valuable materials can be extracted at a recycling facility, so Please Don’t Toss!! (Note: Most of these devices only work on standard incandescent miniature light strings, but the Victor Library will have access to both an LED Light Keeper and a standard Light Keeper.)
When purchasing light strings, we encourage you to choose the energy efficient LED strands which, while a bit more expensive, offer considerable savings on your electric bill as they use up to 80% less energy, and typically have a much longer lifespan. Here are some energy calculations for the same light display for one winter (from ChristmasDesigners.com): LED Christmas Lights (237 watts) = $9.00 per season versus Incandescent Christmas Lights (2,800 watts) = $105.75 per season.
If your holiday light string is truly beyond repair due to corrosion, cut wires, or other problems, Teton Valley Community Recycling has furnished convenient collection bins at the libraries as well as the GeoTourism Center to leave your light strings for recycling. TVCR will bring them from those locations to the Teton County Transfer Station to be recycled with other electronic waste free of charge. Please don’t ever throw these valuable materials in the trash!
TVCR is fortunate to have partners who support waste reduction and sustainable practices in our community. Starting this week, you’ll find the Light Keeper Pro device and simple laminated instructions at all our library’s circulation desks. At the end of January, we will be storing these devices at the Victor Tool Lending library where you can check it out at any time to test your festive light strings.
Creative Energies, our local solar energy experts, have generously funded the entire program for both Teton County, Idaho and Teton County, Wyoming. These devices will re-emerge every winter holiday season, and be available year-round at the Victor Tool Library (part of the Valley of the Tetons Library on Main Street in Victor) along with a wide variety of other tools and kits.