A previous blog post emphasized the environmental, economical and social benefits of purchasing a real Christmas tree over an artificial one.
As the season comes to a close, we thought we would highlight some environmentally friendly ways to dispose of real Christmas trees and give back to the earth.
It is important to recycle real Christmas trees because they contain valuable nutrients that can be used in other capacities like compost or mulch.
According to Earth911, a website that specializes in providing consumers recycling information, some of the main uses for post-harvest, recycled trees include the following:
- Chipping (used for various things, from mulch to hiking trails)
- Beachfront erosion prevention and river delta sedimentation management
- Lake and river shoreline stabilization including fish habitat
The methods for recycling a real Christmas tree can vary depending on where you live, so it is important to be knowledgeable of your community’s tree recycling processes and rules.
The three most common options available for recycling your Christmas tree are curbside pick-up, drop-off programs and do-it yourself projects.
The most convenient (but not always available) option is curbside pick-up. In neighborhoods where this method is offered, it is important that Christmas tree owners follow neighborhood guidelines to ensure that their tree does not get picked up with the regular trash collection and end up in a landfill.
Drop-off programs are only available for a limited time after the holidays but offer a one stop solution for tree recycling needs. Real Christmas trees can be dropped off at specified collection sites as long as they are completely free of all decorations. It is important to note that trees that have been flocked with fake snow are usually not eligible for recycling programs.
Finally, there is always the do-it-yourself option. Live Christmas trees can be chopped into firewood or used for home projects and crafts. For some households, they can be used as natural water habitats when placed in a pond or body of water.
You can visit Earth911’s database to find the Christmas tree recycling solution closest to you.