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You can explore many options for recycling your real Christmas tree this year.

What You Need to Know About Recycling Your Christmas Tree

December 23, 2013

With approximately 4,000 available recycling programs across the U.S., recycling your real Christmas tree is both a realistic and smart way to kick-off the New Year. 

In fact, 93 percent of real Christmas trees are recycled-or "tree-cycled"-and chipped to create mulch for landscapes, gardens, playgrounds and hiking trails each year.

There are several reasons you should consider recycling your Christmas tree. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, "real Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes." Recycling your Christmas tree prevents it from resting in a landfill.       

But if parting with your Christmas tree is too difficult, after watching it shine and sparkle in your living room for weeks, you can discover ways to help it contribute to the betterment of the surrounding environment. Although cut Christmas trees are no longer living, their branches, structure and needles are beneficial to wildlife and the environment when they're returned to a natural outdoor setting.

If you are or know someone who enjoys wood crafting, Christmas tree trunks and branches can help create a number of items, as well as edge a garden. Christmas tree needles make aromatic potpourris for indefinitely fragrant décor. And whole evergreen boughs can protect perennial beds and tree nursery rows from winter freezes.

recycle Christmas tree
There are many benefits to recycling real Christmas trees.

Convinced? Before recycling your Christmas tree, regardless of the method you use, be sure to remove all non-organic décor, such as lights and ornaments. If you're curious about available tree-cycling options, read the list below:

5 Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree:

  • Contact your local municipality or recycling center about tree-cycling. Most municipalities will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules in the two weeks following Christmas.
  • Call for an appointment to ask a local, non-profit organization to pick up your tree for a small donation.
  • Drop off your tree at a recycling center. Most counties have free drop-off locations.
  • Cut the tree to loosely fit inside your yard waste container, if applicable.
  • Share your tree with wildlife that can use it for food, shelter and habitat, such as fish or birds.

Welcome 2014 with an eco-friendly approach. After the holidays, turn your Christmas tree into the gift that keeps on giving and recycle its materials for the benefit of the environment. Tell us how you plan to recycle your Christmas tree in the comments below!

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

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