Yearly Christmas Tree Recycling Begins - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Yearly Christmas Tree Recycling Begins

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On a cold slippery day-after at Rancho San Rafael, Grant Cramer brings his own official end to Christmas: the tossing of the tree…a still-beautiful noble fir stripped of decorations. He says you should have seen it in its prime. As he told us, "It was surrounded by lots of presents, the grandkids were there. My daughter hated to see the tree go down."

Steve Hayes brought his tree by too. The early goodbye was tough for his kids..."My 7-year old danced around it. It was glorious."

Sad for some of us and a relief for others, Christmas is now behind us…decorations disassembled as folks are letting go. Tree recycling volunteer Tom Stames admitted to us, "It is kind of unusual the day after Christmas to see the trees being brought here, but people want to get them out of their house."

That Christmas tree did a fine job…it may still look good to you. But there will come a day when you'll want to drag that parched bush out of the house…although some people keep the trees in their house well into January. Volunteer Chuck Marks told us, "We're open until the middle of January, and it's still fairly busy even into the last."

Volunteer Tom Stames thinks one tree that was dropped off today was used for Christmas last year. "It just looks that way, because it's so dry. It's all brown and the needles have all fallen off it."

The trees get their second life as nutrient-rich mulch for our parks, landscaping and weed-abatement. This recycling program is now in its 19th year. Last time, it recycled nearly 11,000 Christmas trees. Since 2003, more than 90,000 trees have been recycled. That's over 90,000 trees that didn't end up in landfills. Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful's J. Merriman told us, "The trees take up a lot of space in landfills, so the more we can recycle into mulch for parks, the better."

Before he left, Grant Cramer told us his tree was a great Christmas tree. But he knew today, "that I was ready to move on."

And despite being one of the first to drop off his, Steve Hayes had a soft spot for his tree too. "It has meaning." Would his kids be upset to see what he did with the tree today? "No, they'd be happy to see it going to use." He's also happy his tree is about to serve a higher purpose.

Trees will be accepted each day into January at 3 area parks. Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful suggests a donation of $3 per tree to cover costs. And they're looking for volunteers to help out stacking and making sure the trees are clean. We have the link to that, and where and when you can drop off your tree here:

-written by John Potter

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