Saturday, January 3, 2009

Out with the old... tree, that is

It's that time of year again. Time to reclaim your living room and throw out that holiday tree. You won't miss it too much. After all, you'll be finding it's needles until next Christmas. Here's the news release from New York's Strongest:

Sanitation Begins Christmas Tree Recycling on January 5th
Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty announced today that the Department will begin its annual Christmas tree curbside collection and recycling program on Monday, January 5, 2009. The program will run through Friday, January 16th.

Residents should remove all tree stands, tinsel, lights, and ornaments from holiday trees before they are put out at curbside for removal. Trees must not be placed into plastic bags. Clean, non-bagged Christmas trees that are left at the curb between Monday, January 5th and Friday, January 16th will be collected, chipped, and made into compost. The compost will be processed and subsequently spread upon parks, ball fields, and community gardens throughout the city.

In January 2008, the Department collected over 160,000 discarded Christmas trees.

"The Department is very pleased to offer this special recycling service. Providing collection and recycling options for residents is environmentally valuable and benefits our neighborhoods. Working in conjunction with the City's Parks & Recreation Department allows residents to take part in the recycling process and permits them to even reuse their composted Christmas trees to fertilize for the spring. Compost is a natural fertilizer and is an excellent soil enrichment that promotes the healthy growth of plants and grass," said Commissioner Doherty.

The Parks & Recreation Department will be hosting Mulchfest 2009 on Saturday, January 10th and Sunday, January 11th from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. at more than 80 sites throughout the city. To find citywide locations, visit the Parks & Recreation website at The citywide service allows New Yorkers to drop off their holiday trees at designated parks for mulching and event attendees can pick up free mulch. All lights, ornaments, and decorations must be removed from the trees prior to drop-off.

For more information on Christmas tree collection and recycling and/or Mulchfest 2009, visit or or call 3-1-1

We'll be getting ours out to the curb this Sunday. Not to beat the rush, or to be the cool ones who do it first, but to end the constant struggle between Pumpkin's natural curiosity about an indoor pine tree and the dubious structural integrity of a $4.95 tree stand. At this point, the stand has become less a water dish for the tree, and more a water dish for the cats. Disposing of the tree will be our first act of simplifying in 2009... until the end of the year when we do it all over again.

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