Recycle Your Christmas Tree: MulchFest NYC 2013
The holiday season is coming to a close, so whether you went and cut down your own Christmas tree or bought it at the corner deli, it's time to start thinking about how you are going to get rid of it. You want to make sure that your tree goes back into the land, not the landfill. The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has a great program for turning your Christmas tree into mulch that's free and easy to do. Even those of us who don't buy Christmas trees appreciate smelling yours as we walk through our city parks, so please recycle your tree. Another option is to leave your tree curbside for pick up by the New York City Department of Sanitation, but there are certain rules you need to follow in order for your tree to be recycled. Read on to find out how simple it is to recycle your Christmas tree in New York City.
The New York City Department of Sanitation will provide free curbside Christmas tree pickup from Wednesday, January 2 to Saturday, January 19, 2013. Make sure to remove any non-organic objects (lights, tinsel, ornaments, etc.) and don't put it in a plastic bag. If there is anything like that on the tree, it will be treated as trash and won't be chipped and made into compost. The Department of Sanitation collects more than 140,000 Christmas trees every January. Keeping them out of the landfill is a great thing to do. The Department of Sanitation also has a wonderful site about reducing waste in your household overall throughout the year.
The Parks Department also sponsors its annual citywide MulchFest in January. (The dates are later than usual this year, which means you can enjoy your tree for a few extra days.) Bring your tree to a drop-off site from Wednesday, January 9 to Sunday, January 13. Or if you prefer to watch your tree get chopped up, visit one of the designated MulchFest chipping locations on Saturday, January 12 or Sunday, January 13 from 10am to 2pm. This mulch is used to nourish trees and plants on streets and in parks throughout the five boroughs. If you have your own garden, you can even ask for a bag of mulch to take home. Again, make sure to remove foreign items from your tree, otherwise it can't be chipped. It may sound obvious, but every year we see trees with decorations (and once, even a reusable stand!) sitting by the curb or in the mulch pile, a total treecycle fail.
If you want to read more about the environmental impact of your Christmas tree, check out our post about A Greener Christmas Tree.