Recycling 101: Christmas Trees

By Steve Davies,
Healthy Planet Staff Writer

So, by the time you pick up this edition of The Healthy Planet, the holidays for most of us will be over. The presents under your tree will have all been opened and hopefully you’ll have recycled all of the decorative paper that you used to wrap them while they sat under your tree, helping to keep your house looking ever so festive.

That said, for many of us, the one thing that will probably still be up will be our Christmas trees. For me personally, the smell and aroma of a real Christmas tree is something that can’t be beat. Even with all the needles around and our cat drinking from the water and occasionally playing with the ornaments, I’m still someone who prefers a real tree.

Now after ringing in the new year, I think it’s safe to say that those trees will finally be coming down, once of course, the decorations and lights have been taken off and packed back up in the boxes until next year. For those of you whose lights suddenly no longer work, well they can be recycled. In our neighborhood, we have our local Ace Hardware store that will recycle our Christmas lights. After calling our local Lowes and Home Depot however, I learned that they do not recycle Christmas lights.

For those of you who like me, have a real tree, I’ve always had the fortune of being able to compost my tree. Our city, the city of Kirkwood, has always offered to pick up those trees during the month of January when they’re out picking up yard waste along with trash and recycling.

After doing a little research, I found out that Webster Groves does the same thing. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any information regarding Christmas trees on the St. Louis County website. I also called the City of St. Louis and they do not as well. They do however, have a drop off location.

Now for those of you who have artificial trees, you can reuse your tree and for many, that would sound like a good reason to have one. Now of course, we could also get into a discussion about materials, chemicals and the like but instead, I thought that I would pass along this very interesting article that I found over at the New York Times entitled “How Christmas Tree Farms Can Help Wildlifeby Cara Buckley. Happy Holidays!

If you have any questions feel free to email me at thprecycler@yahoo.com