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Get a head start on an energy-efficient new year with holiday cleanup

OK, Christmas is over. Time to clean up.

That doesn't necessarily mean filling the Herbie with trash.

Here are some guidelines for recycling holiday items in Lexington, and tips for becoming more energy-efficient in the coming year.

Christmas recycling

Christmas tree: Remove decorations and put it on the street on your yard-waste day. Wreaths and other greenery go in the Lenny yard-waste container.

Holiday cards: Put them in the Rosie recycling container. You can recycle at home by using the fronts of the cards as gift tags next year.

Cardboard boxes: Flatten, tie with twine and place beside your Rosie. No Rosie? Place on the curb on recycling day.

Gift boxes: In the Rosie.

Wrapping paper, tissue and ribbons: In the Herbie general-trash container.

Catalogues: Put in the Rosie, along with newspapers, magazines and junk mail.

Aluminum: Soft drink and beer cans go into the Rosie, along with steel food cans (also known as "tin" cans).

Plastic bottles: Juice, soft drink, water and laundry bottles go into the Rosie.

Styrofoam peanuts: Put in a plastic bag and take them to most mailing services for reuse.

Electronics: Old computers, cell phones, toasters, even Christmas lights can go to the city electronics recycling center at 1306 Versailles Road. It's open noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon Monday, Tuesday and Saturday.

Batteries: Rechargeables from power tools and cell phones go to the Recycling Center, at Manchester Street and Thompson Road. Hours: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Gift bags: Save them to use again. Plastic shopping bags can be taken to Kroger or Wal-Mart for recycling.

Free mulch, composting bins

As much as one pickup load of mulch per person and old Herbies converted to composting bins will be available from 7:30 a.m. to noon Jan. 9 and 16 at the Recycling Center at Manchester Street and Thompson Road.

Free disposal day: Bring as much as one pickup load to the Bluegrass Waste Alliance Transfer Station, 1505 Old Frankfort Pike, from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 16.

Use less and win

Bluegrass PRIDE is encouraging people to resolve to reduce energy consumption. Anyone who signs and returns a resolution by Jan. 31 to the PRIDE office at 3120 Pimlico Parkway, Suite 126, will be eligible to win prizes, including weatherization kits and CFL light bulbs.

New Year's resolutions

I/We will:

■ Turn all ceiling fans counter-clockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.

■ Unplug my cell phone charger unless the phone is charging.

■ Wash clothes in cold water.

■ Check car tires regularly for proper air pressure.

■ Never allow my vehicle to idle.

■ Use caulk or weather stripping to reduce air leaks in my home or business.

■ Set water heater temperature to 120 degrees.

■ Unplug all appliances and electronics when not in use.

■ Set the dishwasher for air dry instead of heat dry.

■ Install a programmable thermostat.

■ Change all light bulbs to Energy Star-rated compact fluorescent light bulbs and properly dispose of all burned-out CFLs (all Home Depot stores will accept CFLs for proper disposal).

■ Schedule an energy audit from my utility company.

■ Replace old appliances with those rated by Energy Star.

■ Clean all HVAC filters once a month during peak heating/cooling seasons.

■ Use energy-efficient LED holiday lights for all holiday decorations.

■ Consider state and federal incentive programs to help with home energy efficiency. For more, go to www.energytaxincentives.org, www.energy.ky.gov/incentives.

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