Last Modified: Friday, December 28, 2012 9:24 PM
Each year millions of Christmas trees get taken down after the holidays and hauled out to the curb.
This year, Waste Management suggests that residents recycle that tree.
“Communities all over the country have set up recycling programs to turn trees into garden mulch, to become sand and soil erosion barriers along the beach, and to create feeding grounds for lake fish,” said Lindsey Meaux of Waste Management.
“Recycling your Christmas tree is giving a gift back to the environment,” said Frank LaBarbera, vice president of government affairs of WM of Louisiana. “Mulching a tree provides a protective barrier for the roots of other plants while preventing weeds from growing. The mulch then decomposes, providing the nutrients plants need to thrive.”
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, pine needle mulch helps winter soil retain heat. When spring arrives, warm soil encourages early seeding and fast growth. As the season progresses, the mulch stabilizes temperature and moisture, and prevents sunlight from germinating weed seeds.
• Bird feeders — Place the Christmas tree in the garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary. Fresh orange slices or strung popcorn will attract the birds and they can sit in the branches for shelter.
• Mulch — A Christmas tree is biodegradable; its branches can be removed, chipped, and used as mulch in the garden.
• Living, rooted trees — You get a rooted tree and then plant it in your yard after Christmas.
Before donating or repurposing a real tree, be sure to remove the tinsel, plastic and other non-recyclable ornaments. Never burn your Christmas tree, even if it is dried out.
For more information, visit www.realchristmastrees.org.