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Zoo News Blog

Save Animals in the Wild by Recycling Your Holiday Lights

This holiday season, give animals in the wild the gift of a little more room to roam. For the past five years, the Houston Zoo is helping keep waste out of landfills by recycling unwanted holiday string lights. Whether your lights are burned out or broken, or if you’re ready to upgrade to energy-saving LEDs, you can drop off your unwanted string lights in the collection bin outside the main entrance to the Zoo, and we’ll take it from there.

Our Holiday Light Recycle Bin is accepting donations through the end of TXU Energy presents Zoo Lights, which falls on January 9. Note that we collect holiday string lights only – no flood lights, extension cords, light hooks, or other holiday decorations.

Believe it or not, holiday string lights often end up in local landfills, which take up space and can have negative impacts on air quality, ground water, soils, and the habitats of surrounding wildlife. By reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfills, we can help preserve undeveloped land and ensure healthier habitats for local animals, like our beautiful black bear. Since the program began in 2016, the Houston Zoo has recycled more than 24,000 pounds of holiday lights. That’s the weight of more than 72 adult black bears!

So instead of throwing them out, drop off your unwanted holiday string lights to the Houston Zoo, and you can enjoy your holidays knowing that you helped save animals in the wild!