Christmas trees are one of the most recognized traditions of the holiday season. They make homes smell lovely, and they provide a beautiful focal point for gifts.
But what happens after the holiday season? Most people simply throw their Christmas trees away, yet when they are chipped into mulch, they become a valuable resource. This mulch is used in public gardens and parks across the valley to help conserve soil moisture and keep plants healthy.
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has been involved for 10 years with the Southern Nevada Christmas Tree Recycling Committee. The committee, consisting of local government agencies, volunteers and business entities, is asking Southern Nevadans to give their community a gift and recycle their Christmas tree this year.
The community has been recycling trees in Southern Nevada for more than 10 years and every year, a few more are recycled. Last year, Southern Nevada residents recycled 15,000 trees.
Yet, as impressive as that is, that’s a small percentage of the 250,000 trees sold in the community. Last year, more 235,000 trees went to the landfill.
Recycling a tree is simple. There are no fees to participate in this community effort; just a short amount of your time is all that is required. Everyone — residents, businesses and organizations — are asked to take their Christmas trees to one of more than 22 convenient drop sites between today and Jan. 15.
Before dropping off the tree, remove all nonorganic objects such as lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments and nails. Foreign objects contaminate the mulch and damage the chipper. Flocked trees cannot be recycled.
For more information about drop sites, visit www.unce.unr.edu/areas/southern or www.springspreserve.org.