5-Step Guide to Treecycling

5-Step Guide to Treecycling

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Christmas is over and the tree could also be beginning to look just a little unhappy. But how do you get rid of the tree? Christmas tree recycling, or treecycling, is the accountable method to get rid of reduce reside bushes on the finish of the vacation season.

Why not simply have the trash haulers put it within the landfill? Organic waste in landfills slowly degrades, creating methane, a potent greenhouse gas. But that outdated fir tree can develop into mulch or compost; or be used to assist prevent erosion or present wildlife habitat. So, as you get able to undeck the halls, listed below are a couple of useful tricks to assure your Christmas tree doesn’t find yourself in a landfill.

1. Ask the Important Question

What occurs subsequent to my tree? The fact is that simply because somebody picks up your tree, it doesn’t imply it gained’t find yourself in a landfill. Unless you ask earlier than the tree leaves your property, how will for positive the place it’s headed?

Plus, if you recycle your tree, you may very well get some freebies. In cities equivalent to New York, Denver, and Austin, Christmas bushes are mulched, and the remaining materials is made out there to the general public freed from cost. Your neighborhood might also provide the tree mulch to residents, saving you cash on backyard provides within the spring.

2. Be Timely

Are you the neighbor who retains the Christmas lights up till March? With Christmas bushes, timing is of the essence as a result of most recycling applications solely final a couple of weeks into January.

If your curbside assortment program accepts bushes, it doubtless solely does so for 2 or three weeks, as a result of it typically requires a separate truck to haul the additional waste. Plus, many yard waste services function below particular hours in January, as there isn’t quite a lot of yard waste to compost when bushes are naked and there’s snow on the bottom. If you’re late on recycling your tree, your curbside program might think about your tree to be “cumbersome waste,” thus requiring an additional payment.

An excellent rule of thumb is when you flip the calendar to January, begin packing up the lights and ornaments and get your tree able to recycle.

3. Keep It Simple

The worth of recycling Christmas bushes is that they’re thought of natural waste, which suggests they are often composted or mulched.

But the tree is barely natural should you restore it to its unique kind. In different phrases, take away all of the lights, ornaments, and tinsel. Another recycling nightmare is the “flocked” tree, during which the tree is spray-painted white for a extra “wintry” really feel. Flocking just about ensures that the tree will find yourself within the landfill, so think about this whilst you’re dreaming of a white Christmas.

If you’re recycling the tree in a curbside program, ensure it doesn’t block your different bins, as a result of there are usually completely different vans that haul every sort of waste. For bigger bushes, reducing them in half will make them simpler to move.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Spend

You could also be asking your self: “I’m doing factor for the atmosphere, so why ought to I’ve to pay for it?” The reply is that it takes cash to show a Christmas tree into one thing usable, whether or not it’s mulch or compost. If you’re coping with a recycler that isn’t paid by taxes, it’s solely logical to pay for disposal.

Often, you’ll find Boy Scout troops that may collect trees out of your curb and take them to a recycler for you. In most circumstances, it is a fundraiser for the troop, so the cash you spend will help Boy Scout applications.

If you take your tree to a yard waste facility, you’ll in all probability pay a payment, based mostly on weight. The posted indicators are normally based mostly on per-ton prices, so don’t be scared away if you see $20+. Once your tree is weighed, it would doubtless value lower than $5 to recycle.

5. Recycle It Yourself

Can’t get your tree to the curb on time or simply don’t need to pay charges? There are loads of accountable methods to get rid of the tree by yourself with out a treecycling program.

  • Chop it into firewood and kindling. An ordinary noble fir tree could be become more than 13 pounds of firewood to maintain you heat this winter. Just be sure you give it plenty of time to dry first (six months to a 12 months, relying on local weather) in order that it burns cleaner.
  • Improve water high quality. If you may have a pond or different physique of water in your property, tossing in your Christmas tree helps the fish by offering shelter and vitamins. Be positive to take away all ornaments and tinsel first. Many communities have drop-off areas close to our bodies of water for this objective. If you don’t personal the physique of water (equivalent to beach-front properties), you should get permission earlier than disposing of your tree on this means.
  • Make your personal coasters. If you’re able to get artful, shake off the needles into your yard to make use of as mulch, then reduce the trunk into rustic coasters.

Is your tree prepared for treecycling? Use Earth911 recycling search to discover a location for Christmas tree recycling choices close to you.

Need assist cleansing up the remainder of your vacation waste? Check out Post-Christmas: The Eco Way to Dispose of Holiday Trappings.

Feature picture courtesy of 8moments, Pixabay. Originally printed on Dec. 27, 2010, this text was up to date in December 2021.