KTMB opened its collection sites for Christmas tree recycling Wednesday in hopes that citizens throughout the area will have their tree put through the wood chipper and turned to mulch. Though the collection process is off to a slow start, due to cold weather and Christmas being on a Tuesday, KTMB predicts the trees will pour in during the weekend after Christmas.
“The weekend after Christmas is usually our busiest time, and that remained true last year. People like to get them down and get rid of them,” said Deidre Kennelly, program director for the Christmas Tree Recycling Program. “In the three weeks we hold the recycling, we receive an average of 10,000 trees every year.”
The Christmas Tree Recycling Program is now in its 22nd year of making mulch of the trees to be used for “weed abatement and land erosion projects,” according to Kennelly. Shadow Mountain Sports Complex hosts the Sparks drop-off site and local volunteer Conner Dailey said there is no reason to send a tree to a landfill with the location’s proximity.
“Instead of giving it to the dump where it would take a very long time to decompose, when we chip them, it will cut that time down significantly,” he said. “It’s all organic and it definitely speeds up the process.”
Kennelly said the amount of space taken up in a landfill by thousands of Christmas tree is immense and citizens can not only save space, but save money as well by donating their trees to KTMB.
“I believe we are an easy and inexpensive alternative. We have three drop-off locations and it fills a niche in community that is needed,” Kennelly said. “It really cuts down on the amount of space taken up at landfills and we are only asking for donations so it is a very cheap alternative.”
Kennelly said KTMB is asking for a $3 donation when the trees are dropped off to the non-profit organization at either the Sparks location, Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno or Bartley Ranch Regional Park in Reno. KTMB has also partnered with NV Energy for the second consecutive year in a dollar-for-dollar match program.
Kennelly said NV Energy’s contribution the previous year was a major success for KTMB and said continuing the dollar-for-dollar match program helps to keep the organization functioning.
“Basically when we get donations one dollar turns to two, and that is very important for us,” she said. “That money will allow us to do cleanups in open space around the region and it will help us continue our other nine programs at Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful.”
The Christmas Tree Recycling Program will also run alongside the YP Real Yellow Pages Project ReDirectory program to collect old phone books for recycling. Project ReDirectory is another 22-year program KTMB has participated in and drop-off locations will open in full force beginning Jan. 1.
“Real Yellow Pages will donate a certain amount of trees based on the number of pounds of phone books we collect and we will then plant those trees on our Make A Difference Day in October,” Kennelly said. “These are two (including tree recycling) small ways people can help keep the community clean and make a healthier community for everyone.”
KTMB asks that Christmas trees being brought to a recycling collection site be bare and rid of lights, tinsel and garland. For more information about the Christmas Tree Recycling Program or Project ReDirection, visit www.ktmb.org.