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Tree recycling plan set

For the second consecutive year, residents of the master-planned community of Summerlin are being encouraged to recycle their Christmas trees. According to Tom Warden, vice president of community and government relations for The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Summerlin, the community’s partnership with the Springs Preserve and The Christmas Tree Recycling Committee, is a natural in a community known for its environmental sensitivity.

“Last year, Summerlin led the valley in the number of Christmas trees recycled through this program,” said Warden. “We hope to once again be one of the largest recyclers of Christmas trees and are doing everything we can to encourage our residents to put their trees to good use after the holidays.”

Residents can drop off their Christmas trees from Dec. 26 through Jan. 15 at RC Willey Home Furnishings, located at 3850 S. Town Center Drive near Interstate 215, the Las Vegas Beltway. The trees are then collected by the Christmas Tree Recycling Committee community partners to create mulch for use in parks and other landscapes throughout the valley.

According to Marcel Parent, Springs Preserve manager of volunteer and education programs, more than 10,000 trees were recycled valley-wide last year to create more than 89 tons of mulch. This year, The Christmas Tree Recycling Committee hopes to increase that number to 15,000.

“Recycling trees helps to ensure the sustainability of our community by reusing and reducing,” Parent said. “When chipped into mulch, cut trees are reused as valuable organic material used in landscaping projects that help conserve soil moisture and provide nutrients for plants. In addition, it reduces the volume of waste going into landfills.”

The Christmas Tree Recycling Committee is composed of local governmental agencies, nonprofits and businesses. The group has worked to keep Christmas trees out of Southern Nevada’s local landfills for the past seven years.

According to Warden, Summerlin was among the valley’s first communities to join the effort when it facilitated the opening of a community Christmas tree recycling area last year.

According to earth911.org, more than 30 to 35 million live trees are sold in North America during the holiday season, but last year only less than 10 percent of valley residents recycled their trees.

Recycled trees should be free of all non-organic materials, including lights, ornaments, wires, tinsel and nails. Foreign objects contaminate the mulch and damage the chipper. Flocked trees cannot be recycled.

This year, the Christmas Tree Recycling Committee has 19 locations throughout the Las Vegas Valley, including RC Willey in Summerlin. For more information on the program, visit springspreserve.com or call 822-7770.

For more information on Summerlin, visit summerlin.com or call 888-898-5015.

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