Live Christmas trees are 100 % biodegradable and can typically decompose in a relatively small amount of time. Although it may be tempting to toss your Christmas tree into the garbage, there are far better ways to discard your once beautifully adorned tree. One of the best ways to recycle your tree is to donate it to be chipped and reincorporated into the natural surroundings where the broken down matter benefits the soil with rich nutrients.
Here are several local options for recycling your Christmas tree this year (as always, remember to remove any non-organic decorations before disposing of your tree).
Prevent Erosion at the Birmingham Zoo
The Birmingham Zoo and the Mountain Brook Tree Commission are working together to recycle Christmas trees at the Birmingham Zoo. The trees will be turned into mulch and used to control erosion throughout the zoo. Trees can be dropped off at the zoo’s picnic area until January 6th.
Create Fish Habitats in Local Lakes
undecorated Christmas trees can be dropped off at Scout Square (The Christmas Tree Lot) right off of Highway 31 in Vestavia. Donated trees are then used to create new fish habitats in the lakes on the properties of Alabama Power.
Mulch to Enhance School’s Community Garden
Help support the Homewood City School’s Community Garden by donating your Christmas tree to be used for mulch on its pathways. Trees will be accepted December 26th through January 9th, from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Drop off locations are at the corner parking lot at Dale and Grace Street in Homewood and the designated areas in the back rear parking lot of the Homewood Public Library.
Curbside Pick Up for Chipping
Birmingham City residents can simply place their Christmas trees alongside of their curbside waste pick up on specified landscape and yard debris removal days. The Birmingham Department of Public Works will chip the trees into mulch in an effort to reduce waste, and in most cases, the mulch is usually available free of charge to city or county residents. See Birmingham’s brush pick up schedule here.
Other Drop Off Locations
(List courtesy of Alabama Environmental Council)
Hoover – Christmas trees are picked up curbside and are chipped by the city as part of their normal landscaping and yard debris removal service on regularly scheduled pickup days. There will also be a drop-off site on Municipal Lane, across from the Lake House. Signs will be posted on Municipal Lane after Christmas.
Shelby County – County citizens can drop off their trees for recycling on December 26th through January 3rd at the following locations:
· Pelham City Park (off US 31 in Pelham)
· Ray Building (off Alabama 70 in Columbiana)
· Chelsea City Hall
· Heardmont Park on U.S. 119
· Propst Alabaster LLC (formerly Colonial Properties Alabaster, at the end of the AmStar Theater parking lot)
All drop areas are located in parking lots and designated with orange traffic cones and signs.