COVINGTON, Ky. — In a sign the holidays are truly over, hundreds of Christmas trees and hundreds of pounds of holiday lights collected from City of Covington residents have been recycled.
The city's initiative kept 213 Christmas trees and nearly 600 pounds of lights out of the landfill.
“We had the opportunity to chip those trees into mulch for use by our residents,” said Stephanie Bacher, solid waste and recycling supervisor for the City of Covington.
This is the eighth year for tree collection and the first official year for lights. Bacher said it’s all about what materials take the longest to break down.
“Landfill space is limited and if we can keep things out of the landfill that will take a thousand years to disintegrate, it will keep space available for other items,” Bacher said.
Molly Yeager, corporate communications manager at Rumpke, said the pandemic has caused landfills to fill faster.
“Because of the pandemic we're seeing more waste at our landfills and recycling facilities. With landfills, one of the drawbacks is there is a limited amount of space. You can offer expansions on those landfills or building a new landfill or finding an alternative option for that waste," Yeager said.
The alternative option, according to Bacher, is important for items like decorative lights.
“Those things are kind of odd materials to try to recycle,” Bacher said. “We want people to know that we're here working to find outlets for landfill diversion and recycling.”
While the city’s collection is over, Bacher said residents should keep next year’s collection in mind while decorating year-round.
“When you put up lights on the patio this summer, or decorate for holidays throughout the year, remember to save any broken lights for the collection program next year,” Bacher said.