Kitsap’s guide to holiday recycling, shopping

While holiday festivities bring us closer, they can also bring more waste into the home. A simple gathering at home, a work gift exchange or a gift shopping adventure all leave behind packaging to sort through.

Kitsap County’s Holiday Recycle Guide shows folks how to save many reusable and recyclable items from going to the landfill.

Less energy, safer lights with LED

Post-Thanksgiving, neighborhoods begin to come alive with the sparkle of holiday light decorations. The type of lights you use matters when it comes to your electricity bill and energy use. Did you know you have the ability to save up to 75 percent in energy costs on decorative lights by choosing LED?

Per a Department of Energy study, decorative lights consume around 6.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year in the United States.

LED holiday lights consume less electricity, along with the following advantages:

Longer lasting: The same LED string could still be in use 40 holiday seasons from now.

Easier to install: Up to 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket.

Safer: They are much cooler than incandescent lights, reducing the risk of combustion or burned fingers.

Sturdier: LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, not glass, and are more resistant to breakage.

Recycle old lights

Whether upgrading or replacing broken holiday lights, be sure to recycle your old string lights. There are many options throughout Kitsap. During the holidays, some local hardware stores collect string lights to recycle. Check with your local store or look for a receptacle next time you’re shopping.

You can also recycle string lights in metal scrap bins year-round at the Silverdale Recycling and Garbage Facility and Olympic View Transfer Station recycling areas. Many scrap metal recyclers also accept string lights.

Wonder where to recycle other lights?

LightRecycle Washington accepts up to 10 mercury-containing lights per day. You can protect the environment from unwanted release of mercury by recycling your CFLs, fluorescent tubes and High-Intensity Discharge lights. Recycle accepted lights for free at a location near you.

While mercury lights need proper recycling, incandescent and LED light bulbs are safe for your trash.

Shopping insights

Bring your own bag. It’s been one year since Washington’s single-use plastic bag ban started. Still, many have found themselves fumbling to carry items, no bag in hand, at least once.

Save yourself the trouble. With holiday shopping upon us, it’s a good time to make a plan to bring your own bag whenever you go out. Stock your car, backpack or purse now. Tat way, whether you have a scheduled or unexpected stop, you’ll be ready with a bag of your own.

Memories outlast materials. Sometimes, the best gifts come in the simplest ways. Consider how you can lower your impact on the environment by giving your loved ones the gift of time. It’s a good way to avoid the extra waste in wrapping gifts that will one day be outdated.

The gift of an experience can cost nothing, like a walk in the park, or be as elaborate as a weeklong excursion. Any age or budget can give this special gift of time. Make the most of each day by making memories and forget the material things.

Facilities schedule

Kitsap garbage, recycling and hazardous waste facilities are closed during winter holidays:

Olympic View Transfer Station: Christmas Eve, closes at 3 p.m.; Christmas and New Year’s days, closed.

Recycling and Garbage facilities in Silverdale, Hansville and Olalla: Christmas Eve, closes at 2 p.m.; Christmas and New Year’s days, closed.

Household Hazardous Waste Facility: Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, closed.