Environment

Be A Sustainable Santa Claus: Recycle Your Holiday Tree

Many communities have programs to recycle your "real" Christmas tree.


We're not trying to do a buzz kill on your holiday celebrations, but at some point you will be taking down your Christmas tree. And if you have a live tree, you may be feeling a little pang of guilt about hauling it to the curb to be dumped in a landfill.

There is an alternative. Real trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes. Every community is different, but many have recycling programs. Plug "recycle Christmas tree" and the name of your town into a search engine and we bet you'll find one near you!

Evergreens are biodegradable, and can even be turned into mulch.

Some communities and counties offer curbside pickup. Others have free drop-off locations. Many chip and shread the trees, turning them into mulch that can be used in public parks or in your garden. The National Christmas Tree Association has tips for cleanly and safely removing your tree, and other environmentally friendly tree ideas.

Don't forget to remove your ornaments!

Where I live in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County lets you drop off trees in county parks through January 14. Click here for the list of locations. Last Christmas people dropped off 3,500 trees, which were turned into mulch used in the 12 county parks.

The City of Pittsburgh's has its own tree recycling program that's become so popular they've added three new locations this year. If you live in the city limits, click here to find one of them, and drop off your tree through January 26. Last holiday the city diverted over 21 tons of holiday trees from landfills.

Recycling your Christmas tree allows you keep the good feeling of the holidays going, knowing that you've done something to help the environment and #StartSomethingGood!

(Images: Arun Kuchibohtla, Angelina Jollivet, Andre Gorham II on Unsplash)

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