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Program helps recycle the holidays

Delta County Landfill Scale Operator Kayla Rae drags a Christmas tree left at the landfill onto a brush pile Tuesday. (Photo by Jordan Beck, Escanaba Daily Press)

By JORDAN BECK

Escanaba Daily Press

ESCANABA — The holiday season has come and gone, and some people in the area have begun the process of taking down their Christmas decorations. Local residents will once again be able to take advantage of Christmas tree pick-up services offered by Escanaba’s Department of Public Works.

Two drop-off sites for Christmas trees are available in Escanaba. One is at the Ludington Park bandshell parking lot, and the other is behind St. Anne Catholic Church.

According to the department, there is no specific end date for the program. Trees will continue to be picked up for as long as people bring them to the sites.

Trees brought to the drop-off sites are taken to the Delta County Landfill. Delta County residents also have the option of bringing their trees directly to the landfill.

“We do take Christmas trees — they are available to drop off any time during normal business hours,” Delta Solid Waste Management Authority Manager Don Pyle said.

Pyle said people bringing their trees to the landfill will not be charged.

As of Dec. 31, Pyle said fewer trees than normal had been brought to the landfill this winter.

“It’s been very sparse (up) to this point,” he said.

He was unsure why, exactly, this was the case.

“It could be weather — could be that people are utilizing less natural Christmas trees,” Pyle said.

The landfill has been accepting Christmas trees since 2006, when its composting program was established. According to Pyle, Christmas trees brought to the landfill are made into wood chips; some of the chips are added to the landfill’s compost pile and ultimately become part of a soil amendment material.

“We hire in a logger with a very large commercial wood chipping machine to come and do that for us,” he said.

Wood chips are also used as cover material at the landfill and to help support trucks driving into the landfill during wet times of the year.

Pyle encouraged people planning to use Christmas tree pick-up services in the area this winter to make sure their trees are fully undecorated before dropping them off.

“Please remove as much tinsel material as possible, because that doesn’t compost,” he said.