Don't trash those twinklers. Recycle! Residents can drop off unwanted strands lights through the end of January 2012.
There are several drop-off locations in the area:
Burnsville Ice Center
251 Civic Center Parkway
Burnsville, MN 55337
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9 p.m.
ACE Hardware & Paint
14760 Pennock Ave
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Call for hours: 952-432-1004
The Recycling Zone
3365 Dodd Road
Eagan, MN 55121
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday: 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Pellici ACE Hardware
1565 Cliff Road
Eagan, MN 55122
Call for hours: 651-463-4777
Now what to do with the defunct Christmas tree? Word to the wise: It's illegal in Minnesota to put your real Christmas tree or wreath (or any yard waste) in the garbage.
If you don't wish to take it to the compost site yourself, most garbage haulers will provide Christmas tree pick-up service for a few weeks after Christmas. Some ask residents to schedule a special pick-up time. Here is a list of licensed garbage haulers for Burnsville, Apple Valley and Eagan, the three cities that partner to use Dakota Valley Recycling.
Residents also can take their own trees to a compost facility.
A third option is to chop up the tree and compost it in the backyard. Here are some composting tips from Dakota County.
If you went plastic this year, you have several choices. You can throw them out or you can donate fake trees and wreaths.
Wrapping paper, tissue paper and gift bags aren't recyclable, according to Dakota County's website, and should go in the garbage. (Another interesting fact listed is that more than 5 million more tons of garbage than usual is produced between Thanksgiving and New Year's day.)