MulchFest This Weekend: TreeCycle Your Xmas Tree

Photo by sdminor81, Flickr Creative Commons

The holidays are over—finally. Back to life. Back to reality. If you or your household forked over part of the $400 million spent on Christmas trees (at least that’s how much Americans spent in 2007, the latest data available from the USDA Economic Research Service), now’s the time to dispose of the green beauty.

Don’t kick it to the curb. Instead, mulch it. If you live in the New York City area, MulchFest 2010 is slated for this coming Saturday and Sunday, January 9 and 10, 2010, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Bring your tree to one of more than 75 locations across the five boroughs.

Some locales (those marked with an asterisk on the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation site) allow you to take home the mulch your tree generates. The Parks Department doesn’t provide bags, so bring your own. Also—and this may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning—remember to remove any decorations from the tree before dropping it off.

Didn’t have a tree this year but still want to participate in MulchFest 2010? The Parks Department has partnered with MillionTreesNYC (an org that has planted 40,000 street trees in the five boroughs since 2007) to stock every location with Education Volunteers who will explain mulching’s environmental good, help bag, and discuss MillionTrees’ stewardship program. Volunteers must attend one of two training sessions, either today, Tuesday, January 5 or Wednesday, January 6, so make sure to sign up now if you’re interested.

If you don’t live in or around NYC, look for similar programs in your area. Baltimore’s Public Works Department, for example, will accept trees for mulching every Saturday in January at the Citizen Drop-Off Center. In certain counties in Minnesota, residents can drop off their trees at specific locations. To find something in your area, search terms such as “Christmas tree” “mulch” and your location.

Last year, New Yorkers successfully mulched more than 17,000 trees, a 30-percent increase from 2008, and almost 10,000 more than 2004, the program’s first year. Help make this year the best yet and turn those dead trees into mulch-y goodness.

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