Christmas tree recycling begins
By Melissa Crowe - MCROWE@VICAD.COM
Jan. 2, 2012 at 5:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 1, 2012 at 7:02 p.m.
At the end of Misty Yaws' driveway on Angus Street, lay a lifeless and brittle pine tree.
She and her family cut it the day after Thanksgiving from The Jolly Elf, a Christmas tree farm in Seguin.
Once lush and full, six weeks of lights and decorations had taken its toll.
"I'm a little sad to see it go," Yaws, 35, said as Juan Lopez, a city employee, loaded her frail tree onto a garbage truck Monday morning.
When the last pine needle falls from your Christmas tree, consider giving it new life through Victoria's recycling program.
This year, the city will collect discarded trees - free of decorations, lights and tinsel - during normal brush pick up, giving residents extra time to say goodbye to their holiday decor, said Solid Waste Supervisor Trey Torres.
In the past, there was only one day of tree collection. By rolling it into normal collection days, the city saves money in overtime payments.
"If you want to wait until Three Kings Day, just put it out on your designated day," Torres said.
For Yaws, the change was welcomed.
"It's better this year because I just decided to put it out today," she said.
Collected trees will be mulched at the Garden-Ville Compost Facility on Farm-to-Market Road 1686 and will be available for public purchase, Torres said.
Last year, sanitation workers collected almost 400 trees, he said.
Steadily, the collections are dwindling as homeowners opt for artificial trees or turn their Noble Firs into wildlife and fish habitats, he said.
While there is no deadline for tree recycling, Torres asked that residents leave their trees at least five feet from their city-issued carts.
Jennifer Parker, 35, who also lives on Angus Street, was happy to see the last of her holiday decorations taken away Monday morning.
"We get a real tree every year," she said. "I like the way they smell."
Parker said the change in pick up scheduling made little difference to her.
"Just as long as they pick it up," she said.