Recycled Christmas tree provides mulch for Gillette Community Garden

There are several benefits to recycling Christmas trees, and at Gillette it helps provide mulch for the community garden. (Photo by Gillette’s North Community Garden)

Now that the time has come to take the Christmas tree apart, families have two choices: either put the fake back in the box or throw the real one away.

There are few options for where and how to throw a real tree, but one route is best for the environment and helps the city: recycling. Recycling has multiple benefits for the community and that is why city officials are urging everyone to go green and recycle this year.

The City Forestry Division is once again partnering with Campbell County Master Gardeners and Gillette College to provide citizens with a way to dispose of and recycle their Christmas trees. It’s simple and rewarding – pick up all the decorations and simply bring them to the designated and marked drop-off point at the College Tech Center located at 3251 4-J Road. The site is open until Monday, January 31.

In turn, this saves space at the landfill and the trees are put to good use as they are shredded and turned into mulch which is used for the community garden.

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Recycled trees have multiple uses and communities use them in different ways. Some are transformed into mulch like in Gillette and used for community gardens. Other cities use mulch for playgrounds, parks and homes and some add it to lakes and use it as habitats for fish and marine life. Additionally, recycling eliminates the costly process of adding additional debris to landfills.

According to

  • There are approximately 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees sold in the United States each year.
  • There are nearly 350 million real Christmas trees currently growing on Christmas tree farms in the United States alone, all planted by farmers.
  • True North American Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states and Canada.
  • According to the US Department of Commerce, 80% of the artificial trees in the world are made in China.
  • Real trees are a renewable and recyclable resource. Artificial trees contain non-biodegradable plastics and possible metal toxins such as lead.
  • There are over 4,000 local Christmas tree recycling programs in the United States.
  • For each real Christmas tree harvested, 1 to 3 seedlings are planted the following spring.
  • There are approximately 350,000 acres in production for growing Christmas trees in the United States; a large part preserving green spaces.
  • In the United States, nearly 15,000 farms grow Christmas trees and more than 100,000 people are employed full or part time in the industry.
  • It can take up to 15 years to grow a tree to a typical height (6 to 7 feet) or as little as 4 years, but the average growth time is 7 years.
  • The main Christmas tree growing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.