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Communities Ask Public to Recycle Christmas Trees

Different communities are asking residents to recycle their Christmas trees instead of throwing them out.

The Champaign County Forest Preserve has set up tree drop off points at three of its forest preserves in Mahomet, Penfield, and Homer. Trees can be dropped off through Jan. 20.

The forest preserve's Director of Natural Resources, Daniel Olson said some of the donated trees are put underwater in lakes and rivers, so that fish can have a place to hide. Meanwhile, he said other donated trees are used to provide nutrients to existing vegetation.

"We chip a lot of it into mulch, and then we do put it around our tree that helps with the health of the tree," Olson said. "It helps with the longevity of how long that tree will be around."

Olson said tree giving appears to be down this year, but he said he expects it to pick up soon.

Urbana is also reminding people to recycle their Christmas trees this season. Each year, the city collects around 1,600 Christmas trees for its annual recycling program.

Urbana Environmental Sustainability Manager Bart Hagston said during the first couple of weeks of January, residents should leave their trees out on the curb before 6 a.m. on days when their recycling is picked up.

"Well, to preserve landfill space, we like to keep these trees out of the waste stream and they also help to provide material which can be used for landscaping projects and that's why we like to send them out to the landscaping recycling center where they'll be grounded up," Hagston said.

People who do not live in Urbana can still recycle their Christmas trees through the city by dropping them off at the Urbana Recycling Center at 1210 E University Ave.

The city of Champaign has a similar recycling program in place from Jan. 2 through Jan. 13. Residents can leave their trees within four feet of the curb by 6:00 a.m. on their scheduled collection date.

Danville city officials will also be collecting Christmas trees from curbs from Jan. 3 through Jan. 13. The trees will be collected and processed through the city's yard waste recycling program. Questions may be directed to Danville Public Works - Solid Waste Division at 431-2288.

People interested in recycling their trees in any of these communities are reminded not to include any extra debris, like tree stands or ornaments.

Categories: Environment