EBR again recycles trees  

After the presents have been unwrapped, residents of East Baton Rouge Parish can recycle their Christmas trees at the curb or the trees can be dropped off at various locations across the parish.

“People are pretty used to the guidelines by now after so many years of the program,” said Susan Hamilton, director of recycling with the city-parish.

The Christmas tree recycling program has been a seasonal fixture since 1989, and at its height, 35,000 to 40,000 Christmas trees were recycled in one year, she said.

Although each year is different, typically the program collects about 20,000 trees a year, she said.

“We average about 10 pounds a tree,” Hamilton said, so that translates to about 200,000 pounds of material diverted from the landfill.

Hamilton said there are fewer trees for various reasons, including more people using artificial or living trees and others who are taking used Christmas trees to their fishing camps.

“It makes excellent fish habitat,” Hamilton said.

Parish residents outside of Baker and Zachary can drop off their Christmas trees for recycling starting Wednesday or can start putting the trees on the curb for pickup starting Jan. 7.

Drop-off collection containers will be available from Wednesday through Jan. 28 at the following locations:

Curbside recycling will be available Jan. 7 through Jan. 20.

All of the trees in the program are mulched or composted, so it’s important that decorations, tree stands and lights are removed from the tree and that it not be placed in any kind of disposal bag.

“The trees really need to be cleaned,” Hamilton said. “Please don’t put trees in the plastic disposal bags.”

There will be no curbside recycling on Christmas or New Year’s Day. The make-up days for Christmas day recycling collections are Wednesday and Thursday. The Jan. 1 make-up day will be Jan. 2 and Jan. 3. Residents are asked to leave the recycling cart at the curb over the two-day periods so collection crews can pick up the material. All sizes of flattened cardboard boxes will be recycled and if doesn’t fit into the bin, then the cardboard can be leaned against the bin for pickup, she said.

In addition, wrapping paper can be recycled in the bin, except foil wrapping paper and tissue paper, Hamilton said.

A recycling drop off for apartment residents and small businesses will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 21 at the state Department of Insurance, 6945 Florida Blvd. No Christmas trees will be accepted at this recycling event.

More information about the Christmas tree recycling is available at http://www.brgov.com/recycle.