ODNR, city helps dispose used Christmas trees

By Frank Lewis

December 30, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

When you go out and purchase or cut down that live Christmas tree, you are probably not thinking at that moment about the eventual process of disposing of that tree. Nevertheless it is now reality time. The Christmas season is over, and now you have to get rid of that tree.

Before sending your live-cut Christmas tree to the trash, remember that it can find new life after the holidays. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) reminds Ohioans that their trees can be recycled for a variety of uses including mulch, compost and wildlife habitat.

“Mulching, chipping or composting Christmas trees after the holidays is a wise alternative to just throwing them in landfills,” David Hanselmann, chief of the ODNR Division of Recycling & Litter Prevention, said. “Many Ohio communities are making it easy for residents to recycle cut Christmas trees by offering convenient drop-off locations and curbside pick up.”

Many local park districts and communities shred Christmas trees for mulch and compost. Trees can even be transformed into wildlife habitat, providing shelter for some creatures during the winter months.

Individuals living in communities without recycling programs might consider chipping and composting their holiday trees. Adding compost to home gardens improves soil quality, stores moisture and reduces weeds. Using Christmas trees to create outdoor brush piles makes ideal homes for wildlife. Trees can also be weighted down and sunk in farm ponds to attract fish and increase habitat.

But if you are just looking to dispose of that Christmas tree, the city of Portsmouth is ready to take it off your hands.

Bill Beaumont of the Portsmouth Public Service Department says there is a protocol city residents should follow.

Beaumont said the drop-off point for old Christmas trees will be located at the south end of the west parking lot at Spartan Municipal Stadium. He said residents may place their trees there and the city will remove them at a later date.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association the best way to avoid a mess removing your tree is to place a plastic tree bag (available at hardware stores) underneath the stand when you set the tree up. You can hide it with a tree skirt. Then, when the holidays are done, pull the bag up around the tree, stand and all, and carry it outside. Obviously, you will want to remove the stand before recycling the tree. If some needles do scatter inside, it is better to sweep them up; as needles can clog vacuum cleaners.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.