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What Happens to a Recycled Christmas tree?

Christmas is long gone in our minds by now, and as we approach February, 2013 is well and truly behind us. The same cannot be said for all of our Christmas trees however, because even now they are still being processed and recycled, chipped and reused for some other purpose so as not to waste them.
That’s true if you put your tree out to recycle, but a lot of people won’t have and they will have gone to landfill instead. Trees that go to landfill cost the council and, in turn, the taxpayer, with the amount it costs taking a massive leap to £80 per ton from the previous £72 per ton under recent hikes. Worse still, some people will fly-tip with their Christmas tree either through laziness or simply because they don’t know where else to go. This is not an excuse of course, as it also means the council (and you) footing the bill once again. On top of that, the fly-tipping sites you spot in secluded areas or by the roadside don’t look attractive and cost just as much to clean up.

The importance of recycling your tree then couldn’t be more obvious, and it’s not as complicated as it sounds as most local councils will organise some sort of recycling scheme immediately after Christmas. Failing that, you can recycle it at home by letting it dry out in your back garden, then break it up and either use it as mulch on your soil or place it into a composter to breakdown for use as food in the garden later.

When your local council takes your tree away you must ensure that you have removed all decorations such as baubles and tinsel, this will mean it can go straight to being chipped. Even with a quick, efficient chipper on hand, there are so many Christmas trees being recycled that they are still being chipped well into February. Once they have been chipped they are taken to a depot where they are left over time to decompose, and this compost is then used as mulch and weed suppressant for gardens and public areas.

The mulch has more uses though, with some communities using it to pave running trails. The chipped trees create a softer running surface and mark out woodland paths. Other communities use the trees whole in the bottom of lakes to create a habitat for fish where all previous materials have been removed. All of this great work helps to keep the number of trees in landfill down.

You can go one step further however and take care of the recycling of your tree yourself. If you can find a neighbour with a chipper, you can make your own mulch. Some people even choose to keep the tree once it has lost all its needles – the skeleton of the tree propped up in the garden makes a nice perch for birds and some tasty treats hanging from each branch will give the wildlife in your garden a little taste of the Christmas too.

Of course you can always go one better by not using a real tree and purchasing a plastic tree, but if you find yourself in need of a waste management service then get in touch with us at Woodford Recycling today. We know how important it is to recycle as much of what we use as possible, leaving less to go into landfill and creating a more sustainable future.


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