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What’s old is new again at Recycle Hawaii

TREE RECYCLING

Where: Eight County Recycle and Transfer Stations: Hilo, Puakō, Kailua-Kona, Honoka‘a, Kea‘au, Keauhou, Waimea and Wai‘ohinu.

When: December 26, 2012 - January 15, 2013.

Chipped Christmas trees are provided as mulch at the conclusion of the collection. Tree recycling can be a simple and great way to start off your new year with an eco-friendly act of kindness. They are commonly turned into mulch and used in landscaping and gardening or chipped and used for playground material, hiking trails, paths and walkways.

Contact: www.hawaiizerowaste.org. or www.recyclehawaii.org for more information.

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Christmas tree recycling is provided after Christmas and through New Year’s each year by the County of Hawai`i at designated transfer stations.

Chipped Christmas trees are provided as mulch at the conclusion of the collection. Dates and locations of Christmas Tree Recycling to be announced soon.

Once the presents have all been handed out from under the tree, it’s time to start thinking about recycling your Christmas tree. Tree recycling can be a simple and great way to start off your new year with an eco-friendly act of kindness.

Between 30 and 35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year.

Luckily, about 93 percent of those trees are currently being recycled through more than 4,000 available recycling programs.

Treecycling is a simple way to bring a renewable and natural source back to the environment and not the landfill where decomposition rates are slowed due to lack of oxygen.

Real Christmas trees can be recycled in a variety of ways. They are commonly turned into mulch and used in landscaping and gardening or chipped and used for playground material, hiking trails, paths and walkways. They are also used for beachfront erosion prevention, lake and river shoreline stabilization and fish and wildlife habitat.

The National Christmas Tree Association highlights projects that are thriving examples of Christmas tree recycling and reuse. From wildlife habitat creation to sand dune restoration, Christmas trees are being recycled into great use in communities nationwide.

Before recycling your tree, make sure to:

• Remove all stands, lights, tinsel and ornaments (including that great treecycle ornament, which can be put away for next year).

• Check the collection and drop-off dates for treecycling in your area you don’t want to miss the deadline, and dates and times can change on occasion.

• Do not place your Christmas tree inside a plastic bag. It should be left in its natural state for recycling.

• There are often community groups, such as the Boy Scouts of America, who will come pick up your tree for a small donation and take it to the recycling facility for you.

Friendly Reminders

• If any of those Christmas tree ornaments or decorations isn’t going to make it onto the tree next year, please remember to recycle or donate them.

• Upgrading to LED lights next year? Remember to recycle your incandescent lights at holidayLEDS.com or donate them to a worthy cause.

• Avoid burning your Christmas tree as it creates unnecessary air pollution and can represent a fire hazard.

• Artificial trees cannot be recycled. They are made from mainly non-renewable plastics, often containing PVC, a petroleum-derived plastic. If you do have an artificial tree that you no longer use, consider donating it to a worthy cause or prolonging its life through good care and storage.

• Living Christmas trees should not be recycled with traditional Christmas trees. Arrangements should be made to replant them in a timely fashion in order to keep them alive. Many places, such as your local parks department, school or community organization, will accept the living trees for replanting.

Recycling Tree Ornaments

Generally, all the decorations you create for your tree are made from things you would usually throw away. For example, the garland can be made from plastic packing “peanuts” strung together on thread. Cut out the pictures from old greeting cards, punch a small hole in the top, and add a ribbon. You can also make ornaments from pine cones and sweet gum seed balls. Use your imagination and see what ornaments you can make from things you would normally throw away. You can even learn to make a snowman from an old lightbulb!

Each year, 25 million extra tons of trash is generated between Thanksgiving and New Years in the U.S. Think how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle. Look for the Christmas treecycling dates on the county’s calendar posted on their website www.hawaiizerowaste.org.