Now that the holidays are approaching, it is a good idea to know when to throw out your trees. It may seem simple enough, but many people miss the free pickup from our local garbage company. We subsequently see dead brown trees slumped on the side of the road. I once was one of those people. Totally focused on my job, I let the month of January go by and found myself with a stiff brown tree sprawled across my patio. Not wanting to simply dump it, I had to find a company willing to recycle it. I also found it is good to know different things in which you can do to the tree to help the environment.
Why pick a real tree?
Real trees are the best choice for the environment. Remember that the tree is growing someplace before it reaches the living room of your home. While it is growing, it emits oxygen and absorbs carbon monoxide and other gases in the air. The National Christmas Tree Association reports that, “The farms that grow Christmas Trees stabilize soil, protect water supplies, and provide refuge for wildlife while creating scenic green belts. Often, Christmas Trees are grown on soil that doesn’t support other crops” Real Christmas Tree growers plant a tree for every tree that is harvested. They are biodegradable, which is easy to reuse or recycle for mulch and other purposes.
Most fresh Christmas trees are grown near your area which does not require much carbon emissions, on the other hand, artificial trees are primarily made in China which does emit carbon emissions through exporting the tree. Also plastic trees are petroleum based, which means after your family is done with the tree, it will sit in a landfill for centuries after disposal.
What can you do in Cupertino, California?
Recology South Baywill pick up de-decorated trees in Cupertino and unincorporated Cupertino in the month of January by removing it from your curbside to be recycled.
• During the month of January, we will provide free Christmas tree collection and recycling.
• Please remove tree stands and all decorations, including tinsel. (Flocked trees are acceptable).
• Trees should be cut into 5 ft. lengths. Cut pieces may be placed inside your yard waste cart for service as long as lid can be closed.
• Place trees or carts curbside/roadside on your recycling day.
• Apartment dwellers must place trees in a central location and call to arrange a pickup.
• A recycling truck other than the regular yard waste truck may collect trees.
If for whatever reason you miss your curbside pickup, there are a few companies who will recycle it for you. I found a company in San Jose, California who will come and pick up your Christmas tree.
• Sam’s Easy Hauling
• Hours: 24 hrs a Day
• 7 Days a Week
• Address: 2606 Newhall St., San Jose, CA 95123
• Phone #: 408) 396-9915
Other things you can do
You can chop the wood up to make firewood or kindling and use the needles for mulch in your back yard. If you have or know someone who has a pond, toss in the tree to provide shelter for fish and nutrients for them. You must get permission from the city to do this.
Recycle Your Christmas Tree – Earth911.com
Center for the Development of Recycling