Options abound for disposing of Christmas trees

January 4, 2011

By Staff

Issaquah residents eager to toss out a dried-out fir face a handful of options to dispose of natural Christmas trees.

Customers tired of evergreens dropping brown needles can set out trees for yard waste collection on regular collection days. The trees must be cut to 4 feet or less. Haulers do not collect trees decked in flocking or decorations.

For residents interested in recycling, or tree-cycling, the King County Solid Waste Division offers a list of recycling locations. Or, residents can drop off trees at Cedar Grove Composting near Issaquah and other recycling sites.

Composters turn former Christmas trees into wood chips to be used as a landscaping material, or combine the evergreens and other organic material to make compost for gardens.

Solid Waste Division planners encourage residents to recycle trees in order to save room in the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Issaquah.

Residents can also wait until Jan. 8 to dispose of old trees.

Issaquah High School Key Club members plan to pick-up and recycle Christmas trees in the South Cove neighborhood. Key Club and the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah have offered holiday tree recycling in the community for a decade. Donations help fund Key Club community service projects.

Send donations ahead of time to arrange for pickup, or place the tree curbside and a Key Club member should come to the door to collect the donation.

Local Boy Scout troops also plan to collect old Christmas trees in the Issaquah Highlands and Sammamish. The effort includes about 200 Scouts and adult volunteers.

Scouts pick up trees curbside in the communities. Organizers ask for trees without nails, tinsel or flocking. Scouts do not accept artificial trees and trees with metal attached.

The old trees then head to chipper stations to be pulverized into mulch.

The drive serves as the main fundraiser for the year for a half-dozen Sammamish Plateau troops. Scouts started the annual Christmas tree recycling service project in January 1986. Scouts collected more than 3,500 trees last season.

What to know

Issaquah High School Key Club members plan to collect old Christmas trees in the South Cove neighborhood Jan. 8. Mail donations to IHS Key Club, Adviser Josh Moore, Issaquah High School, 700 Second Ave. S.E., Issaquah, WA 98027.

Local Boy Scout troops also plan to collect old Christmas trees in the Issaquah Highlands and Sammamish on Jan. 8. Organizers suggest a $15 to $25 donation per tree.

Participants should place a check payable to Boy Scouts of America in a sealed envelope, attach the envelope to the bottom of the tree with a rubber band and make sure the tree is ready at the curb by 9 a.m. In case of inclement weather, put the envelope in a plastic zipper bag and attach the item to the tree. Learn more at the tree drive website. The site also includes a coverage area map.

Learn more about options to recycle Christmas trees — and find a list of drop-off locations — at the King County Green Holidays website.

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