City offers Christmas tree recycling

Master gardeners say chips are good for rose gardens, rhododendrons

Posted: Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Out with the old, in with the renewed.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

The city and Waste Management have partnered to offer free Christmas tree recycling to Juneau residents. Though they've offered the service for years, it's usually a one-day drop. This is the first time it's lasting a full week.

"It's a community service," Waste Management Senior Operations Specialist Lynn Bartlett said. "This way it doesn't have to lay in your garden until spring. Just bring it in and drop it off."

Christmas trees around the country are recycled for interesting, and sometimes unexpected, purposes. In Arlington, Wash., dozens of trees were fed to goats at a rescue and sanctuary farm. In Louisiana, they're used to try and prevent wetland erosion.

In Juneau, the city is chipping them to be used by residents and gardeners.

City solid waste coordinator Jim Penor said some master gardeners he's spoken to say the chips are good for rose gardens and rhododendrons, though he cautions wood chips can be bad for other kinds of plants.

"People just need to be careful where they're putting it," he said.

People can also come get chips for general landscaping.

Resident Mason Morriss offloaded his Christmas tree Monday afternoon. This is the first year he's recycled his tree; usually he chops it up and burns it, he said.

"This is way easier," he said. "It's less headache all around."

Free Christmas tree recycling will run Monday through Saturday at the Capital Disposal landfill at 5600 Tonsgard Court.

Recyclers are asked to remove all their tree's ornaments, tinsel and stands.

The event runs 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Call 780-6009 for free wood chips or with questions.

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