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Options for Recycling Christmas Trees

January 6, 2009

Des Moines, IA – Now that the holidays are over, Christmas trees are coming down. The once-decorated trees across Iowa are now past their prime and need to be removed before they become a fire hazard, but your tree can have a second life after the holidays; it can be reused instead of tossed out.

Amy Horst with Metro Waste Authority says many Iowa towns have Christmas tree recycling programs where trees are chipped to make mulch.

"Recycling is a great idea and a great option for Christmas trees. It adds to making compost and making it into a usable product for one's garden, one's lawn."

Horst says you need to contact your local city hall or garbage-hauling company for disposal rules, but most locations that take old Christmas trees have some regulations on what can and what can't be thrown out.

"Basically, removing their Christmas ornaments and tinsel, please remove your Christmas tree stands, and also we do not encourage residents to use plastic bags."

She says some towns have curbside pickup, others have drop-off locations, but every recycled tree helps extend the life of Iowa's landfills.

Dick Layman/Elizabeth Grattan, Public News Service - IA