Christmas Trees Can Be a Recyclable Resource

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Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is here. Begin the New Year with thoughts of how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Does your house still have a live Christmas hanging around?

The ideas for a greener environment are not new to most Americans. We understand the need to help sustain the environment for future generations. Money and energy can be saved by reducing the need to harvest new raw materials if we buy used. The amount of waste materials sent to landfills is reduced if we shop for products with less packaging or choose to buy in bulk. Purchasing reusable materials instead of disposable items can add up to bring considerable savings.

Consider recycling your cut Christmas tree beginning with removing everything that was used to make it beautiful:  lights, ornaments, garland, tinsel and of course the stand. Many options are available to recycle your tree including:  turning it into mulch, using it as a soil erosion barrier, fish feeders or bird feeders.

Many communities collect the trees and chip and shred them to make mulch. If you know of someone with a shredder they may welcome extra trees. The mulch is fragrant and can be used to help with weed control, conserving soil moisture, and moderates soil temperatures.

Place your tree in the garden or backyard as a bird feeder or for cover. Put fresh slices of fruit, suet, peanut butter or popcorn to attract the birds making sure they are out of reach of cats and dogs. Over the winter the branches will become brittle and can be easily broken off. The trunk can then be lowered to the ground to use as a border for a planting bed.

Coastal counties make use of Christmas trees to help build up the dunes along the beach by cutting down on erosion from wind and storms. Fort Macon has been collecting trees to recycle since the 1960s.

Sunk into private fish ponds, trees make an excellent refuge and feeding area for small fish and can last several years is completely submerged. Make sure you contact the owner of the pond before leaving your tree.

Christmas trees in Lenoir County can be taken to the land fill located at 2945 Hodges Farm Road in La Grange. Look for signs and containers just inside the gate. The regular hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m..