Yes, you certainly can scrap Christmas lights. Even if you gently hand roll each set of your Christmas lights each year and then store them in a surrounding of feathers and cotton some how by the following year at least one set or two of lights no longer works.
Thankfully, Christmas lights are cheap to replace. That old nonworking set of lights is worth its weight in copper and brass scrap, so don’t get mad and just throw it away.
All scrap yards have different rules regarding the condition in which they will accept scrap Christmas lights. Some will take them as is however; others want you to remove the bulb and its plastic housing from the wire.
Either call ahead to your local scrap yard of check with them the next time that you are in with a load. Besides the copper wire that is present beneath the green or white plastic, each plug’s blades are made of brass.
Clip off each plug-end and then pull the brass blades out of the plug with a pair of pliers. Keep all of the brass separated from the copper wire.
If you can afford to do so, you could buy or rent one of those collection bins that you see around town that are used for clothing donations. Find a local store that will let you place the bin on their property and then let people fill the box with old Christmas lights.
You should empty the bin once a day to avoid having the box raided but if the business is open 24 hours, you should not have any issues.
You may hear scrappers say that they do not bother with these types of small wires. That is fine, that just means more money for you. All scrap metal is worth money you should not leave anything behind.