Christmas Trees at HEB

Elida Almaraz lifts a Christmas tree on top of Don Coleman's car outside H-E-B Plus! in Victoria in early December.

Once Dec. 25 has come and gone, live Christmas trees can be made into nutrient-rich mulch and compost or used to reinforce sand dunes on the Texas Coast.

With the exception of New Year’s Day, Christmas trees and other living decorations can be dropped off from Dec. 26 to Jan. 31 for repurposing at the Texas Disposal Systems’ Garden-Ville center, 18125 Farm-to-Market Road 1686 in Victoria.

Starting Jan. 4, the city of Victoria will also pick up Christmas trees on residents’ designated yard waste days for Texas Disposal System’s repurposing.

Garden-Ville is an affiliate of Texas Disposal Systems geared toward diverting as much as possible from the landfill stream. The company’s composting division will make nutrient-rich mulch and compost out of the decorations to sell at Garden-Ville stores throughout Central Texas, according to a news release from Texas Disposal System.

Trees and decorations dropped off at Garden-Ville or picked up by the city must be free of fake snow, lights, ornaments, metal and other non-living contaminates. A $45 fee will be assessed for unclean trees and decorations dropped off at the Garden-Ville center in Victoria.

Since Hurricane Ike destroyed sand dunes at Surfside Beach in 2008, the Brazoria County Parks Department also annually collects and recycles living Christmas trees to help rebuild sand dunes.

Sand dunes prevent erosion and serve as storm buffers. The Christmas trees’ branches help rebuild dunes at a faster rate than would naturally occur by trapping sand.

Last year, two Victoria women collected more than 100 trees in the Victoria area and dropped them off in Brazoria County for the coastal resiliency initiative.

Anyone who wishes to donate their trees to the restoration project can drop them off from Dec. 16 — Jan. 10 at several locations, including the parks department headquarters, 313 W. Mulberry St. in Angleton.

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Kali Venable is an investigative and environmental reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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