KPB Solid Waste director Cathy Mayer encourages everyone to recycle their Christmas trees.
Now that Christmas is past and pine needles start clogging up carpet sweepers, that sentinel of holiday hope and family activity transitions from an object of adornment to backyard or side of the road clutter. For several years now the Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste department has been offering an alternative to these post-partum Christmas tree blues with opportunities to recycle trees in a manner that is environmentally beneficial. According to Cathy Mayer, Solid Waste Director for the Kenai Peninsula Borough, once again this year collection sites will be collecting Christmas trees for recycling, "We'll be collecting trees for re-use this year at the Kenai, Nikiski, and Sterling transfer facilities daily from 10:00am until 6:00pm and at the Soldotna landfill from 8:30am until 5:45pm everyday," said Mayer.
In the past the trees have been used in various ways, from riverbank stabilization, to landscaping chips, "This year the State Parks department will again be using the trees for bank stabilization projects. In the past Seward Forestry has used the trees for this purpose and it has proven to be very effective," said Mayer. In order to be recycled trees must be clear of all ornaments and tinsel or anything that might be considered additional waste, "If anyone has used nails in their tree to attach ornaments or stabilizing we ask that those be removed to prevent any injury that might occur in the handling of the trees," added Mayer.
All varieties of Christmas trees are acceptable for recycling, but according to Mayer there has been a drop in the recycling effort the last few years, "We're not sure why, we've offered the same collection sites and the same hours for the program that has become standard over the years, but where we use to recycle 400 to 500 trees we've seen it dwindling down to about half that the last few years, so we are really encouraging people to bring their trees to us and not put them in the trash, because we'd really like to keep them out of the landfill and put them to a beneficial use," said Mayer.
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