Christmas is over and the decorations are finally put away. now it is time to find a place to recycle the Christmas tree. So many people put their spent Christmas tree out by the curb for the garbage men to pick up.
This is usually not a good idea because in most places, after the garbage truck has gone on to the next home, the Christmas tree is still in the same place, sitting there by the curb.
After the Christmas Holiday is over, there is no need to throw your natural Christmas tree away. Here are several tips on what to do with your tree after it has served its purpose and after the presents are removed and opened.
In some cities and towns, there are recycling centers that allow people to give their Christmas tree to them to be used as part of their wildlife sanctuary.
The old Christmas trees are placed on a sand dune to help protect the beach from erosion, or they are put in a wood chipper to be ground into mulch or the tree is placed upright to be used as a bird feeder.
With an appointment, a non-profit organization will arrange to pick up your completely cleaned Christmas tree. For a small donation, the local Boy Scout troop offer a pickup service. This service may not be available in all areas.
An easy way to avoid a mess with dead pine needles while removing your tree, purchase a plastic tree bag at the local hardware store and place it underneath the tree stand when you set the tree up, before decorating it.
The tree bag can be hidden with the tree skirt. When the Holiday is over, simply pull the bag up over the tree, including the tree stand and take the bag outside. Remove the tree stand before sending it to the recycling center.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE RECYCLING A CHRISMAS TREE:
All over the Nation, Christmas tree recycling centers and Christmas tree mulching programs are becoming the best way to get rid of ‘live’ trees. Check with your local Department of Public Works for more information about who call to pick up your tree or where to take your tree for recycling.
These new centers will chip or shred the Christmas trees and make mulch that can be used in your garden, flower bed or yard. The tree hauler will notify you of the pick-up times and dates in your area.
Most recycling services that collect trees during their regular pickup schedules have certain guidelines the tree owner must follow. Christmas trees are only collected for two weeks after Christmas day and there are strict guidelines concerning the size of the tree.
If Allied Waste haul your Christmas tree away, call ahead to get to know their rules concerning tree removal. All of the Christmas lights, decorations and tinsel must be removed.
Artificial Christmas trees can not be sent to a recycling center. They must be reused next year or they have to go out with the regular garbage.
Remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, and other NON-Organic decorative materials – including the Christmas tree stand.
Some recycling centers require Christmas trees to be cut into lengths of no more than four feet. In some areas, all trees must be cut into pieces small enough to fit inside the green recycling container.
Old Christmas trees can also be used as a natural bird habitat. All of the tinsel has to be removed as well as all of the Christmas decorations. Make sure there is no tinsel remaining on the tree. When the tree is completely cleaned, sit it in a corner of your yard for the birds to find. To make it more inviting, add a bird feeder.
Call the Department of Natural Resources to see if they could use your Christmas tree as a natural resource for fish, birds and other small critters.
Nothing but the naked tree will be accepted, entirely free of added decorations. It is especially important that the tree is free of pesticides and it has not been flocked.
In Louisiana and other coastal towns and cities, Christmas trees are used to help reduce natural erosion of shorelines, lakes, rivers and oceans. The branches and tree trunk provide a barrier that can help to minimize the amount of sand that is washed away by the water.
The trees can also help rebuild areas after hurricanes and violent storms, by collecting sand and capturing deposits.
Check with the Department of Natural Resources to see if they have a need for your Christmas tree.
RECYCLE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE AT HOME
Instead of throwing the Christmas tree out in the trash, cut off the branches and use them to make decorative wreaths and garlands to decorate your home for the entire Winter season. Colorful ribbons can also be added to coordinate with the colors in the rooms.
Make your own garden mulch by putting the tree into a mulcher. First, cut the Christmas tree into pieces small enough to fit into the chipper and put them inside the opening. The wood chips can be used in the garden, on top of the soil in house plants as decoration, in the garden, in the compost bin and to make a trail in garden paths.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that approximately 20 percent of all solid waste is organic. With a little more effort, that number can gradually rise to a more respectable level. All it take is more conscious effort and more recycling.