Holiday waste tips

Stay on the nice list by recycling right this holiday season. Here is how to properly dispose of your holiday waste.

2023 – 2024 holiday light collection drive

Don’t throw out your broken string lights this season. Recycle them through the city’s special collection drive! Lights cannot go in curbside recycling carts or mixed recycling dumpsters. They get tangled in equipment, causing delays and damage at the Recycle Center.

String lights, extension cords, light sensors, power strips, timers, electric candles, other electronics and household batteries can be taken to the city’s Electronic Recycling Center year-round. Each winter, Lexington’s Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works partners with businesses in Fayette County to host a special collection drive, making it even more convenient for residents to dispose of these items properly. This is the sixth annual holiday lights drive. Nearly 3,000 pounds of lights and other small electronics were collected for recycling last year.

Collection bins will be available beginning Tuesday, Nov. 21, at locations throughout Lexington. The collection will end on Jan. 14, 2024.

  • Crank & Boom Clays Mill, 3101 Clays Mill Rd. Suite 301
  • Crank & Boom Distillery District, 1210 Manchester St.
  • Dunbar Community Center, 545 N. Upper St.
  • Good Foods Co-op, 455 Southland Dr.
  • John's Run/Walk Shop, 317 S. Ashland Ave.
  • John's Run/Walk Shop, 3735 Palomar Centre Dr.
  • Lexington Senior Center, 195 Life Lane
  • Pemberton's Greenhouses, 555 Keller Ct.
  • Tates Creek Community Center, 3460 Campus Way
  • West Sixth Brewing, 501 W. Sixth St.
  • Wild Birds Unlimited, 152 N. Locust Hill Dr.

Lights and other electronics can be taken directly to the Electronics Recycling Center year-round. The center is located at 1306 Versailles Road. Visit for hours of operation.

Christmas trees

Natural Christmas trees: Remove all lights and decorations. Place at the curb on your regular collection day, from January 3 through Jan. 27, 2024. Natural trees will be composted at the city’s composting facility.

Fayette County residents without curbside city service can take their natural trees to the Haley Pike Waste Management Facility.

The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources also has drop-off sites for natural Christmas trees at various locations, including Jacobson Park. Christmas tree drop-off sites will be open from Dec. 26 through Jan. 15, 2024. Check the Fish & Wildlife website for locations and more information.

Artificial Christmas trees: Those with city service can break down their artificial trees and place them next to your green trash cart at the curb on your regular collection day. Artificial trees in good condition can be donated to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Visit for details.

Electronic waste

The following items can go to the Electronics Recycling Center, open six days a week.

  • String lights, rope lights, electric candles
  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Hand-held games
  • Game consoles
  • Cell phones
  • Extension cords
  • Timers

Never place eWaste in the blue recycle cart.

Reduce your holiday waste

  • Use a reusable shopping bag.
  • Reuse gift boxes and gift bags.
  • Purchase items with less packaging and packaging that is recyclable in Lexington.
  • Use old newsprint, gift bags, and catalogs instead of purchasing new wrapping paper.
  • Plastic bags, bubble wrap and plastic wrap are NOT recyclable in your blue cart, but many grocery stores have plastic bag collection bins for these items. 
  • Give rechargeable batteries with gifts that requires batteries.
  • Give experiences, not things.

You can always donate unwanted items in good condition   

Your carts


These items go in the green trash cart, never in the recycling:

  • Wrapping and tissue paper
  • Padded envelopes
  • Sticker sheets
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Gift bags (reuse if possible)
  • Ribbons, bows and string
  • Molded plastic packaging
  • Bubble wrap and air pillows
  • Alkaline batteries (e.g. AAA, AA, C, D, etc.) Can also be taken to the city's e-waste facility
  • Plastic bags, cellophane and film
  • Musical and photo greeting cards
  • Broken toys
  • Paper and plastic disposable plates
  • Plastic and Styrofoam cups


  • Paper towel, toilet paper and wrapping paper tubes
  • Cereal, gift and shoe boxes
  • Dry shipping boxes (flattened)
  • Brown paper bags
  • Aluminum cans
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Tin cans
  • Plastic bottles and jugs with a screwtop neck
  • Waxy drink cartons
  • Soda and frozen food boxes
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Plain greeting cards (not photo)

View the full list of recyclable items and download a flyer for the home, classroom or office at

The list of recyclable items applies to homes with either private or city recycling services. Items not listed are not recyclable in Lexington regardless of your waste hauler.

If your home is serviced by a private waste hauler and you do not have a recycling cart, drop off your recyclables at one of Lexington’s free drop-off locations. Find one near you at


Remove all decorations, lights, hangers, wires, candles and other non-organic material before placing natural items in the gray yard waste cart:

  • Wreaths
  • Poinsettias
  • Garland
  • Holly
  • Pumpkins
  • Gourds

*These services are available for homes with city waste collection services. If your home is not serviced by city waste collection, contact your private hauler for more information regarding different waste services.