As the holiday season winds down many of us are considering what to do with our now somewhat droopy Christmas tree. As simple as placing it out on the curb for collection might seem, that is not always the greenest option.
Often Christmas trees left out for trash collection end up in landfills slowly decomposing. That is, of course, not necessarily bad as a Christmas tree, sans ornaments and tinsel is organic material and will decompose. However, it’s not the quickest way to recycle.
A better option is to immediately convert that tree to usable wood chips or compost. Specialized Christmas tree recycling centers do just that.
More than 35 Christmas tree varieties can be recycled into chippings (used for everything from mulch to hiking trails), beachfront erosion prevention, shoreline stabilization, fish habitat and sedimentation management.
While many cities now do offer curbside Christmas tree recycling, in many areas a special trip to a recycling center is required. You can find your local center on a searchable database provided at Earth911.
Close to 30 million of us chose real, rather than artificial Christmas trees this year so it’s worth the effort of removing ornaments and picking off tinsel. Consider also planting a tree to replace the one that gave you so much pleasure this holiday season. The Arbor Day Foundation offers lots of ways for you to help replant our forests.