Trees don’t belong in trash |

Trees don’t belong in trash

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Just try sticking the Christmas tree in the trash can.

If it doesn’t fit, there are other ways to get rid of the trees.

Both City Hall and Summit County offer places for people to dispose of the trees and recycling boosters say that the trees can be reused in other ways instead of being dumped in a landfill.

Insa Riepen, who leads Recycle Utah, a not-for-profit, says her organization is not collecting Christmas trees but suggests that people not throw them out. Riepen says Christmas trees can be made into mulch, which then saves water in the summer by preventing soil from drying out.

"It can be shredded and it’s 100 percent reusable," Riepen says.

In Park City, people may deposit the trees at a City Hall-owned parcel off Holiday Ranch Loop Road, where a sewer plant once stood. The land is just east of the Park City Peaks Hotel, formerly the Radisson.

The collection was scheduled to start on Dec. 26 and end on Jan. 16. It is free.

Pace Erickson, who manages the operations in the Public Works Department, says City Hall chips the Christmas trees and uses the material for mulch on paths and some flowerbeds. The city has collected the trees for at least 15 years, he says.

"It’s a green thing to do, instead of having trees go to the landfill," Erickson says, adding, "Every year gets bigger and bigger and bigger."

Erickson says the city usually collects between 2,000 and 2,500 trees. The city requests that people remove decorations and wires before dumping the trees. If they are decorated when they are dropped off, City Hall takes them to the landfill, Erickson says.

For more information about the program, call Public Works at 615-5301.

In outlying Summit County, there are also opportunities to dispose of Christmas trees. Kevin Callahan, the county’s Public Works administrator, says the trees, like in Park City, are turned into mulch and people can drop off the trees without charge.

The county plans to accept the trees from Dec. 26 until Jan. 20. Locations are: Jeremy Ranch Bells Store, Silver Creek Bells Store, Kamas City Hall, Oakley Town Hall, the Coalville Sewage Plant and the Hoytsville Stock Yards.

For more information about the Summit County program, from the West Side, call 615-3970, from South Summit, call 783-4351, extension 3790, and from North Summit, call 336-3970.

Meanwhile, the lacrosse club at Park City High School, in a fundraiser, plans to pick up Christmas trees. Dates are Dec. 30 and Jan. 6 and the cost is $15. To schedule a time for the lacrosse club to pick up a tree, call 649-8733 or e-mail


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