Library recycling old lights

Published 12:03 am Monday, December 16, 2013

NATCHEZ — Those old, no-longer-working strings of holiday lights stashed away in the attic or basement could help brighten up the Judge George W. Armstrong Library.

The library is recycling old holiday lights to raise money to buy a new set of student-edition World Book encyclopedias for the children’s department, Assistant Director Anne White said.

The set is valued at a little more than $1,000.

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The idea for the recycling fundraiser came after Green Alliance Chairman and Concordia Metal employee Jim Smith gave a recycling presentation at the library this summer, White said.

Smith mentioned to White that Concordia Metal pays approximately 85 cents for recycled holiday lights because of the copper wiring in the lights. Later while replacing burned out bulbs on a string of lights White keeps up at her house, White said she had a “light bulb moment.”

“I thought, ‘If I had a bunch of these, we could get some money,’” White said.

Thus was born the holiday lights recycling fundraiser, which White said began just before Thanksgiving.

The response has been good, White said, and the fundraiser is a win-win because it raises money for the library while keeping holiday lights out of landfills.

Lights can be dropped off at the library, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The library will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the holidays and also Dec. 26 and 27 for the renovation of the library’s meeting room, which will be renamed in honor of former director Susan Cassagne, who was recently named director of the Mississippi Library Commission.

Because of the need to clear out the room for the renovation, White said, the library is giving away free books to the public normally for sale in the room.