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How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Trees can be turned into compost, mulch instead of taking up space in landfills

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Frank Heinz

    The gifts have been given, the dinner has been eaten and Christmas 2012 is becoming a thing of the past.

    So what do you do with that Christmas tree?

    More than 30 million live Christmas trees were sold last year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. It’s unknown how many of those wound up taking up space in landfills.

    According to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, compostable yard waste takes up at least 18 percent of landfills. Recycling Christmas trees is a great way to knock that percentage down.

    “Many Delawareans have been recycling their Christmas trees for many years and we encourage everyone to establish or continue this eco-friendly tradition,” said DNREC’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Section program manager Bill Miller. “Recycling these trees that are a product of nature is a wonderful way of giving back to the environment.”

    Starting Dec. 26 and running through Jan. 26, there will be various drop-off locations and possibly pickup opportunities to recycle your Christmas tree for free in the First State. For a tree to be accepted in Delaware and other Tri-State recycling locations, the tree must be stripped of all decorations, tinsel, wire, hooks, tree stands, etc. and untied -- basically the tree should look like a tree.

    Similar recycling programs are in place throughout the area. (If you don’t see your area listed you should call your local sanitation department to find out if a program is in place.)

    In Philadelphia, the Streets Department will accept trees at their Sanitation Convenience Centers located at 3033 S. 63rd Street, Domino Lane & Umbria Street and State Road & Ashburner Street from Jan. 7 to Jan. 19 (except Jan. 13) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will also be civic “treecycling” at various locations Jan. 5 to Jan. 6 (click here for a list).

    In New Jersey, Burlington County is offering treecycling at the Resource Recovery Complexes in Florence and Mansfield Monday through Saturday. (Click here for more details.)

    New Castle County
    Polly Drummond Hill Community Yard Waste Demonstration Site
    Located in the Pike Creek area on Polly Drummond Hill Road, about 1/2 mile north of Kirkwood Highway.
    Hours: Daily 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise posted.

    Brookhill Yard Waste Site (new site, operated by Holland Mulch)
    NOTE: Open Dec. 26 for Christmas tree drop-off only at this time.
    1034 S. Chapel Street, Newark, DE 19702 (main Holland Mulch office phone: 302-765-3100)
    Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – noon*, Closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1

    Copeland’s Mulch Depot (free if the tree was purchased at Copeland’s; otherwise $2)
    2 Honeysuckle Drive, Stanton, DE 19804; (phone 302-633-9536)
    Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.*, Closed Dec. 26 through Jan. 1

    Holland Mulch
    135 Hay Road, Edge Moor, DE 19809 (phone 302-765-3100)
    Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – noon*, Closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1

    Wilmington Organic Recycling Center
    612 Christiana Avenue, Wilmington, DE  19801 (phone 302-266-7678)
    Hours: Monday-Friday, 6:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. – noon*, Closed Jan. 1

    Sussex County
    Blue Hen Organics
    33529 Fox Run Road, Frankford, DE 19945 (phone 302-732-3211)
    Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.*, Closed Jan. 1

    Grizzly’s Landscape Supply Service
    18412 The Narrow Road, Lewes, DE  19958 (phone 302-644-0654)
    Hours:  Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.*, Closed Jan. 1

    Kaye Construction
    22288 Coverdale Road, Seaford, DE 19973 (phone 302-629-7483)
    Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.*, Closed Dec. 26 through Jan. 1

    Selbyville Pet and Garden Center (free for active customers within the last 6 months)
    38205 DuPont Boulevard, Selbyville, DE 19975 (phone 302-436-8286)
    Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.*, Closed Jan. 1

    Stockley Materials
    25136 DuPont Boulevard, Georgetown, DE 19947 (phone 302-856-7601)
    Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.*, Closed Jan. 1

    Sussex Tree Inc. Garden Center
    20144 John J. Williams Highway, Lewes, DE  19958 (phone 302-645-6262)
    Hours:  Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.*, Closed Jan. 1

    There are also other groups that will pick up trees curbside in Delaware.