Ever tried tree-cycling? Here’s how to upcycle, repurpose or dispose of your Christmas tree

BUCKHANNON – Sadly, the time is coming – whether it’s today or in a few days – to pack up those beautiful Christmas decorations and put them back into the attic until next year. The tree, which once stood tall and proud, is missing quite a few of its needles, but it served well as the center of the season’s festivities.

Rather than just tossing the tree, why not find a way to reuse, recycle or repurpose your Christmas tree?

One option for those residing in the Buckhannon city limits is to have their Christmas tree picked up by the city during the yard waste collection. Callie Cronin Sams, information coordinator and grant writer for the City of Buckhannon, said the yard waste collection occurs on the first and third Fridays of the month.

“You must call City Hall at least one day in advance to get on the list to have your Christmas tree picked up, if you aren’t already on the list,” Sams said. “This service is available to all city residents at no additional cost. This service is not available outside of the city limits.”

Sams said yard waste that is collected through the year — including Christmas trees — is incorporated into the city composting system, which fertilizes the beautiful floral displays during the summer months.

“City compost is also shared at the Community Garden, which provides fresh produce for participating residents and at the Upshur Parish House,” she said.

The website socialmoms.com had other ideas for reusing and recycling live Christmas trees. Their site suggests chipping your Christmas tree and using it for mulch or submerging the tree in a pond or river to create a habitat for fish.

Another suggestion was to use the pine boughs to cover outdoor gardens throughout the winter months or to cut the top two feet from the tree and place it on your property for squirrels, birds and rabbits to use as a woodlands habitat.

Their final suggestion was to upcycle your Christmas tree by using the unfinished wood slices for craft and décor projects. Small branches may be sliced to make your own wooden buttons, the site said.

Upshur County residents are also welcome to participate in a Christmas tree recycling event scheduled for Jan. 4 in Bridgeport. Niki Davis with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said they have been recycling trees in Charleston at the Capitol Market for 16 years.

“The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources approached us, and we work in cooperation with them,” Davis said. “We collect the trees for them for their fish habitat program. Last year, they said they could use more trees so we worked with the city of Bridgeport and we will hold our first collection there.”

Davis said they will be collecting trees from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 4 at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex. She said when dropping off trees for recycling, be sure all the decorations, tinsel and ornaments are removed from the tree.

“We will have a contractor there, and all the people need to do is make sure the tree is clean and free from any decorations,” Davis said. “We will have laborers there to help unload the trees for folks. Most times, those donating will not even need to get out of their vehicles.”

Davis said everyone who donates a tree will receive a small token of appreciation. Those donating their tree to recycle may sign up for a contest to win a one-night stay at a West Virginia State Park.

The Bridgeport Recreation Complex is located at 425 Forrester Blvd.

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