Manatee's discarded Christmas trees to be recycled, officials say

skennedy@bradenton.comJanuary 5, 2013 

MANATEE -- You may not think much about what happens to your discarded Christmas tree once its holiday duties are over.

But chances are that once it's hauled away from your home, it will be recycled.

Discarded trees from 108,000 Manatee County customers and about 54,000 city of Bradenton customers are picked up as regular yard waste, and then recycled into eco-friendly soils, mulches and biomass fuels.

"All the yard waste is going to be recycled," said Chris Snow, vice president of corporate affairs for Consolidated Resource Recovery Inc., 3025 Whitfield Ave., one of the companies that has a recycling contract with the city and the county.

Snow didn't know how many Christmas trees his company will handle in the weeks following the holiday, he said.

"All we know is everything picked up by the county or city in curbside waste programs come into our facilities," said Snow. "We have large tube grinders (that grind them) into mulch; we have markets to sell it for renewable green energy to power plants."

His firm's operation is not overloaded by the thousands of discarded Christmas trees

because during winter, Florida is drier and there is less yard waste altogether, he said.

County garbage customers, which number about 108,000, should put used Christmas trees out by their front curbs for pick-up on Wednesdays during January, said Amy Pilson, public affairs liaison for the Manatee County Utilities Department.

Residents should make sure to remove the stand, ornaments and tinsel before the tree is hauled away, she emphasized.

City of Bradenton garbage customers, numbering about 54,000, should put their trees out on their regular yard waste pick-up day, which would be a Monday or Tuesday, said Brian Henry, city of Bradenton superintendent of solid waste recycling.

Another year gone by, another Christmas over.

And eventually, all the forlorn Christmas trees tossed out along the streets will be gone, too.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.com.

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