Old Christmas trees can be recycledBy Stephen Dawkins Published 2:35pm Thursday, December 26, 2013
Now that Christmas is over, you may be wondering what to do with the live tree in your home.
There are several options for Chilton County residents, including recycling.
Trees may be dropped off at a designated location in the parking lot of the Winn-Dixie shopping center off Highway 31 in Clanton to be recycled.
The effort is a partnership between Winn-Dixie and Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, who will recycle the trees.
Trees can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 2.
Another option is a live Christmas tree drop-off arranged at Higgins Ferry Park by the Lake Mitchell Home Owners and Boat Owners.
Trees left on the bank at the swimming area at the park will be bundled and used to create fish habitats in the lake.
Many residents can also simply let their tree decompose on their property, where they will temporarily serve as shelter for rabbits or mice, or use a chipper to make mulch from the tree.
Andy Baril, Regional Extension Agent for Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resources, said any tree to be recycled should not have any deocrations remaining on it when dropped off.
“I live in the country, and I take my shears and I cut off each branch of the tree,” Baril said. “We use that in the fire pit, and I enjoy an evening with my wife.”
Baril encouraged residents to find some way to discard their Christmas trees other than simply sending them with their garbage.
“Don’t put them on the street corner to be picked up by the garbage,” he said. “A tree in a landfill is wasted space–don’t put anything that is organic in a landfill because it will break down on its own.”
Residents who own a pond can tie several trees together, then attach them to a cinder block and sink the bundle in their pond to serve as a fish habitat.
Fish also eat the needles off the tree.
Trees are accepted at the Solid Waste Transfer Station in Thorsby, though expect to be charged the normal rate of $12 for a load of 1 to 500 pounds, and $22 for more than 500 pounds.