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Give your Christmas tree another life

Wednesday, December 23, 2020 by Tai Moses

Photo: city of Austin

Christmas trees are not trash. Live, natural trees – not plastic, artificial ones – may be mulched and recycled, ensuring that the tree returns to the soil in another form. Travis County has been providing free tree recycling for years, allowing county residents to give their holiday trees (and Hanukkah bushes) another life. Drop-off is available from Saturday, Dec. 26, to Sunday, Jan. 10., 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Find a map of Travis County tree drop-off locations here.

Follow these simple guideline for recycling trees:

  • Remove all ornaments, decorations, lights, and tree stands
  • Remove all nails, staples and metal
  • Trees sprayed with flocking or artificial snow are not accepted
  • Do not place the tree in a “tree bag” or any plastic bag
  • Trees taller than 6 feet must be cut in half

If you live in the city of Austin you may simply leave your tree at the curb on your usual yard trimmings collection day. All other Austin residents may drop their trees off at Zilker Park. As for Christmas lights that no longer work, they can be recycled, too: Bring old lights (and discarded Styrofoam and cardboard) to the Recycle and Reuse Drop-off Center at 2514 Business Center Dr. Visit the city’s Tree Recycling web page for more info. And if you want some of that sweet-smelling tree mulch for your garden, it will be available, for free, starting Jan. 14 at 9 a.m., on a first-come, first-served basis. Wear your face mask and bring your own tools and storage containers for loading and transporting the mulch.

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