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Here's How You Can Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Turning it into mulch or for use as an electricity-generating bio-fuel are options available to Santa Cruz County residents.

Santa Cruz County will turn your Christmas tree into mulch. Credit: Patch archive
Santa Cruz County will turn your Christmas tree into mulch. Credit: Patch archive
Santa Cruz County will soon give residents a chance to have their Christmas trees recycled for use as mulch or an electricity-generating bio-fuel, according to the county Department of Public Works.

Garbage collectors will pick up used holiday trees at curbside in all parts of the county in the early mornings from Jan. 6 through Jan. 10 and for longer periods in some areas, according to public works director John Presleigh.

Curbside collection of trees within the Santa Cruz city limits will extend from Jan. 1 to Jan. 14 and places in the county served by Green Waste Recovery will pickup trees from Jan. 2 to Jan. 17, according to Presleigh.

Trees may also be dropped off by residents in other cities and in unincorporated areas in the county, including special recycling bins at many fire stations and other places from now to Jan. 19, according to Presleigh.

The trees will be chipped to serve as mulch for landscaping or burned to generate electrical power, county officials said. Residents first need to prepare their trees for recycling by removing all ornaments, tinsel and any plastic or metal stands. Flocked trees cannot be accepted for recycling, Presleigh said.

For curbside collection in Santa Cruz and other cities, larger trees should be trimmed to a maximum length of 6 feet and cut in 3-foot lengths for curbside pickup in unincorporated parts of the county.

Some curbside collection will be available for businesses and apartment complexes and owners and residents should call their garbage haulers about pickup and drop-off options, according to Presleigh.

Tree drop-off locations include fire stations in Aptos, Boulder Creek, Felton, Freedom, Scotts Valley and Soquel.

Other drop-off sites include the transfer station on Newell Creek Road in Ben Lomond, Triangle Park on Playa Boulevard at La Selva Beach, the East Cliff Shopping Center in Live Oak, the Municipal Resource Recovery Facility on Dimeo Lane in Santa Cruz, the south county landfill on Buena Vista Drive and the Waste and Recycling Drop-Off Center at 310 Harvest Drive in Watsonville.

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