HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Before you throw your Christmas tree to the curb, you may want to consider recycling it instead. Many localities offer tree recycling programs to residents.
At landfills in western Henrico County, the remains of the holiday season fill the air with one last whiff of Christmas.
"It just really smells good, all that pine. Keeps the holiday spirit for our employees at the landfill," said Steve Yob, Henrico County Public Utilities.
And Steve says they've been coming in by the hundreds.
"We've taken in seven loads of trees, and a total of 12 tons of Christmas trees," he said.
Some of the trees come from Henrico County's eastern and western government centers, where residents can drop them off in dumpsters. Others are brought to the landfill by residents like Roger Gardner.
"It's environmentally friendly to bring it here to the dump, and they seem to do a good job, and I've gotten free mulch many times," said Roger.
"This stuff is really good for adding to your garden, amending your soil with," Steve said.
And that's how old Christmas trees are given new life. They're ground into mulch and given away free in the spring for use in yards across the county. The program also helps keep the landfill from getting too full.
"Our mission at the division of solid waste and recycling is really to try and keep things from going in the landfill. So the material that we grind from the Christmas trees, the yard waste that we accept, all of these things are diverted from going into our landfill," said Steve.
For some folks, parting with a Christmas tree is bittersweet.
"It's kind of telling of the story of the end of the holiday- but we enjoy a natural tree, and part of that is to dispose of it properly," Roger said.
Tree collection at Henrico government centers ends January 10, but if you like to leave it up a little longer, you can recycle them year-round at county landfills. For more details on where to recycle your tree click here.
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Chesterfield County is informing residents of its Christmas tree recycling program which ends Sunday January 31. Residents can drop-off their trees at either of the locations listed below. Garland, tinsel and ornaments must be removed.
Northern Area Convenience Center – 3200 Warbro Road (between Hull Street Road and Genito Road)
Southern Area Convenience Center – 6700 Landfill Drive (off Route 10 beside Riptide's Restaurant)
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.