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Goodwill takes old Xmas lights

I saw your column about recycling light bulbs, but is it possible to recycle old Christmas lights? It seems like every few years we change colors or types of lights, and as a result I have several boxes of lights I'll probably never use again. Is there someone who accepts them or are they destined for the landfill?

— Lyn C., Medford

Hold off on that trip to the landfill, Lyn.

Goodwill Industries of Southern Oregon accepts donations of Christmas lights. They strip down the lighting strings to recycle the inner wiring, so it doesn't matter whether they work.

The money raised from selling the wiring goes into the agency's jobs and family-strengthening programs, so in addition to recycling the materials, your donation of wiring helps Goodwill find jobs for its clients in Southern Oregon — people with mild to profound mental or physical disabilities.

As an added benefit, if your lights have some value, you can get a tax write-off.

By the way, Lyn, you're not alone in changing holiday decorations. Goodwill reports that Americans will on average spend $46.73 on decorations this year — and probably far too many of the old lights end up in the garbage.

Goodwill has five sites in Medford and one each in Ashland, Central Point, Phoenix, Rogue River, White City and Grants Pass.

For more information, see www.sogoodwill.org or call 541-772-3300.