Desert Companion

Community: Merry recycled Christmas

The giving trees

The holidays aren’t officially over until that final ritual: Hauling the desiccated husk of what was formerly your Christmas tree curbside for trash pickup, no doubt leaving behind a splintery trail of pine needles to rival the typical forest floor.

Time to switch up the ritual and recycle that bad boy instead. And tree recycling isn’t the kind where you just sort of trust that it re-enters the circle of life. This recycling you can see and touch at your local park and in your garden — as mulch. Mulch gets these recycling people excited.

“A lot of people may not know that when we recycle Christmas trees, it’s chipped into mulch that everyone can use,” says Jennifer Clifford, district manager of the Conservation District of Southern Nevada. She co-chairs the group that’s lined up about 20 drop-off locations around the valley for recycling Christmas trees. “I think if people understood the mulch connection, they’d be more inclined to recycle their trees.” Not that she’s falling down on the job. Since 2001, the program has turned more than 100,000 trees into mulch.

“Mulch stays in town,” says Tara Pike, UNLV’s recycling czar and tree recycling committee member. “It helps conserve water, it keeps evaporation down, keeps the soil moist and also breaks down compost and provides nutrients to soil and plants.” Hurray mulch!

Support comes from

The program is taking trees through Jan. 15. For drop-off locations, visit www.cdsn.org

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