When purchasing new lights, consider energy saving and long-lasting LED lights. You can also recycle your old broken lights at the Ben Weitsman scrap metal yard, 300 Smith Boulevard, Albany, NY 12202. Phone: (518) 462-4444.

Or, HolidayLEDs offers customers a chance to recycle their old incandescent holiday lights and receive a 15% coupon discount on any purchase of new, energy efficient LED holiday lights from their website. NOTE: According to their website, the program opens in October and closes at the end of February. For more information, visit their web site at http://www.holidayleds.com/christmas-light-recycling-program.aspx.

Light strands are barely biodegradable (if at all). Plastic and wire can take hundreds or thousands of years to decompose. Not to mention the risk to the animals that rummage in and near our landfills. Just as the plastic rings that bind 6-packs of cola can strangle small creatures, so can Christmas lights, turning a thing of joy in our homes into a killer in nature.