Those who live in the city limits of Tampa here is some vital information if you have a live Christmas tree, but don’t know how to get rid of it after the holidays. Fret no more because help is on the way. Here are some steps to get your tree prepared for pick-up and when the City of Tampa will be collecting your Christmas trees at no charge for recycling. First and foremost there are a few things you’ll need to know to make this easier.
The Important Do’s and Don’ts
Here are some common sense suggestions to take note of when trying to dispose of or recycle the tree yourself. It’s actually a simple process, but you need to be made aware of certain issues with your live Christmas tree.
1.) Be sure all ornaments, lights, tinsels, garlands and other decorations are completely cleared off your tree.
2.) If it came with a burlap tree wrap use it to get the branches compressed in an upward spiral until the tree’s branches are entirely covered. This will allow you to easily take your tree outdoors if you live in a condo, apartment or home. The brittle needles will be contained in the wrap.
3.) Perhaps you don’t have a burlap tree wrap an old blanket will also work. You can use duct tape and 2-3 heavy duty plastic garbage bags. Use the duct tape to get the bottom branches into an upright position by taking the duct tape around to secure the branches. The garbage bags will cover the entire tree and keep the needles from falling all over the place.
4.) Drain your water stand before removing the Christmas tree outside. Once it is outdoors you can remove the water stand.
1.) Use a vacuum cleaner to clean up pine needles will only damage it. Simply use a broom and dust pan. If it gets into the carpet get it out by hand.
2.) Evergreen branches and tree trunks/stems are not good for a compost pile. They simply do not decompose very well.
3.) By far the most important step of all Christmas tree disposals is not to burn it in the fireplace, woodstove or outdoors. Evergreens contain sap that’s a highly flammable turpentine oil. It leaves a dark, ugly residue when you burn this type of tree. It also leaves a distinct odor, creates a lot of smoke and will spark on occasion, even causing fires if you aren’t carefully watching.
City of Tampa Pick-Up Schedules on Christmas Trees
The Department of Solid Waste for the City of Tampa will have their Christmas Tree Recycling program starting on the week of Monday, January 3 to Friday, January 7, 2011. Be sure to have your live Christmas tree out by 6 a.m. at your curbside during the designated day when they pick up yard trash. If you wrapped it up to take outside make sure you take off all non-organic materials on the tree such as the blanket, garbage bags, burlap tree wrap and duct tape. They pick up only yard trash. If you have any further questions call the City of Tampa at (813) 348-1111.
Other Miscellaneous Information
In the event you do not live in a home with curbside yard trash service you can take your wrapped tree to two designated sites that are accepting Christmas trees for recycling. The first is the Manhattan Brush Site. Secondly, you can go to the McKay Bay Transfer Station. Please call for more information at (813) 348-1111. For those who live outside the Tampa city limits in Hillsborough County can call (813) 272-5680 for Christmas Tree Recycling schedules and locations.
If you have a lot of Christmas tree needles they can be used in a compost pile. Once the Christmas trees are collected by the City of Tampa they will be grounded up for mulch. Some of them will be used to stop erosion at construction sites. As you can see it isn’t as difficult as once believed in getting rid of your Christmas tree after the holidays. Thanks to many organizations going “green” they are making sure to get trees recycled for your convenience.
How to recycle a Christmas Tree in Tampa, Christmas Trees in Tampa.com
Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management, City of Tampa