Christmas trees get new lives after the holidays are over

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Christmas is over and presents have been taken from under the tree, unwrapped and enjoyed. What does this mean for the Christmas tree? The News Messenger asked those out and about in Lincoln what their plans are for their trees. For some residents, the end of Christmas signals packing the tree away in a box until the next holiday season. “It’s a fake Christmas tree and it’s going in the attic,” said Victoria Hildebrand on Saturday. She has a fake tree because she is “allergic to real Christmas trees.” For others asked Saturday, artificial trees are the choice not because of allergies but because of concern for the tree. “We don’t like it shedding and I don’t like the idea of killing trees,” Samantha Weeks, 16, said, of her family’s decision to have a fake tree, opposed to a real one. “I’m big on recycling.” But for those who have a real tree, more can be done than just tossing them in the trash. Layla Seiler said she will take her Christmas tree to McBean Park to be recycled “because it saves the landfill.” The city of Lincoln is offering a spot for Lincoln residents to drop off their Christmas trees to be recycled until Jan. 10, which will be located at McBean Park. Trees free of decorations and tinsel can be dropped off at the south side of the park by the rifle range. The trees will then be transported to the Western Placer Waste Management Authority in Lincoln and turned into wood chips. “The wood chips will either be sold as mulch or picked up by a company that uses them as fuel,” Western Placer Waste Management Authority’s junior engineer Stephanie Thompson said. Christmas trees should not be placed in the city-issued green waste cans, according to Thompson, because trees cannot be composted. Items that are considered green waste include grass clippings, flowers and leaves. She said the mulch, made from the wood chips, can be purchased at the Western Placer Waste Management Authority buyback facility, which is where compost can also be bought. If you would like to help a good cause and get rid of your Christmas tree without leaving home, there are at least two organizations in Lincoln offering tree-pickup for $5. The Lincoln Brown Sox, a year-round baseball academy for children between the ages of 9 and 11, will pick up trees until Jan. 10, said president Issac Mejia. “We will pick up the Christmas trees for a $5 donation,” Mejia said, and the donations will help pay for new uniforms and trips that the team will take. He said trips the team takes throughout the year include training facilities, baseball camps, tournaments and Minor and Major League baseball games. “We have gone to the River Cats stadium and had a tour but we’d like to go to a Major League game and get some inspiration,” Mejia said. The Brown Sox, with the help of adults, are available to pick up the trees after 2:30 p.m., according to Mejia. The News Messenger caught up with Mejia and four Brown Sox team members Tuesday afternoon, as they were dropping trees off at McBean Park. “We’ll get money to to to the major league baseball games and to tournaments,” said Ty Williams, 9, on why he is excited to be doing the fundraiser. “It’s been fun because we’ll get money and we get to recyle the trees.” Eighth-graders from Twelve Bridges Middle School, who are planning to travel to the East Coast in June, are also picking up trees for a $5 donation. The money will go toward funding the trip, which includes visits to Washington D.C. and New York City. The Christmas-tree recycling program is just one of the fundraisers the students are doing for their trip. “They are really excited and it gives them a chance to work and raise money,” said Ken Dzor, who is organizing the tree pickup, and has a son raising trip money. Dzor said the student will pick up the used Christmas trees, with the help of parents. Both the Lincoln Brown Sox and the students from Twelve Bridges Middle School will drop trees off at McBean Park, to be turned into wood chips for mulch and fuel at the Western Placer Waste Management Authority. To help out a good cause and have your tree recycled: Contact Lincoln Brown Sox president Issac Mejia at 267-9280 or to schedule a pick-up time. Mejia said it is best to be there when your tree is picked up to ensure the $5 donation and tree is received. To help the eight-graders from Twelve Bridges Middle School raise money for their trip to Washington D.C. and New York City, contact Ken Dzor at 934-6513 or to schedule a pick-up time. Both groups will pick up trees through Jan. 10. Or if you’re dropping off Christmas trees to be recycled: Bring the tree, sans tinsel and decorations, to McBean Park by Jan. 10. Mulch created by the wood chippings from Christmas trees and other trees can be purchased at the Western Placer Waste Management Authority’s buyback facility at 3033 Fiddyment Road. The entrance is on Athens Avenue, and is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.