Is Your Holiday Greenery Turning Brown? Recycle It To Help Wildlife, Wetlands, Scouts

Is your holiday greenery turning brown? There are easy ways to recycle unwanted Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands and swags, with trash haulers, scouts and wildlife advocates prepared to help.

Garbage collection services accept trees and other natural holiday decorations as yard debris if they fit inside the bin and are collected on the regularly scheduled pickup day.

Tree preparation requirements vary, but for the most part, all branches must be stripped of ornaments, lights, tinsel, wire, nails, spikes, stands, plastic and other added materials. That’s because trees are turned into wood chips or compost, and some nonorganic materials can ruin a chipping machine.

For wreaths, also removed the frames and any other non-plant products. Swags and other greenery are typically collected recyclers, but check with nonprofit pickup services to learn their policy.

Generally, a tree counts as regular yard debris if it fits into the cart with the lid closed. If it doesn’t fit, cut the tree into pieces and add it to the cart over time.

A tree shorter than six feet long can be set next to the cart on the curb while longer trees must be cut; either way, there may be an additional fee for the extra garbage. Some haulers do not accept flocked trees.

Portland residents will be charged an additional $5 by the hauling company to take away whole trees left at the curb. Trees taller than six feet must be cut in two. Flocked trees are not accepted.

In Gresham, whole natural trees not in the cart will be assessed an additional $3.56 while flocked trees are $4.86. Trees over six feet need to be cut in half and each half not in the cart will incur the additional fee.

Beaverton will not pick up flocked trees and there is no charge if your greenery and cut or whole tree fit in your cart; otherwise, if placed on the curb, it’s $3.63 for the additional yard debris.

Residents of apartments or condominiums with centralized hauling services should get instructions from the property manager or board of directors to learn if a holiday tree pickup service or event has been arranged.

Otherwise, visit Metro’s Find-A-Recycler to determine the closest yard debris recycling facility or seasonal tree recycling event.

If you have questions and are serviced by Metro, send a question, call 503-234-3000 or contact your garbage hauler.

If you don’t want to use curbside service or take your tree to a yard debris processing facility, students and scout troops will recycle your whole tree for a donation. Trees are also repurposed to help wildlife.

North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council volunteers accepted northwest-grown Christmas trees brought to North Clackamas Park on Jan. 4, and on Saturday, Jan. 25, they will place the greenery — free of decorations and flocking — in the Willamette River channel next to Spring Park and Elk Rock Island to create resting areas for migrating juvenile salmon. The recycling fee is $10 plus a suggested donation to the Watershed Council. Volunteers are needed from 9 a.M. To noon on Jan. 25 to remove invasive species, add native plants and place Christmas trees to enhance fish habitats. Sign up at ncprd.Com/nature-volunteer. For more information, contact Matt Jordan at MJordan@ncprd.Com or call 971-313-2031.

Here’s another way to repurpose trees by placing them in Oregon wetlands to provide habitat for juvenile salmon and other wildlife. Volunteers with the nonprofit Christmas for Coho project will accept Christmas trees on Jan. 4 and Jan. 11, from 9 a.M. To 4 p.M. At Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters, 10910 N.E. Halsey St. In Portland, and the decommissioned West Linn Fire Station at 6000 Failing St., next to the Royal Treatment Fly Fishing shop. The cost is $10 per tree to cover transportation costs. The all-volunteer group is run by the Tualatin Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Sunnyside Environmental School held its annual Christmas tree recycling fundraiser 10 a.M.-4 p.M. On Jan. 4 and 5 at 3421 S.E. Salmon St. In Portland. Drop-off donations are $5 per tree. Home pickups, at $10 per tree, are available on the east side by reservation only (online or sunnysidetreerecycling@gmail.Com). All the money raised benefits the K-8 school’s field trip fund. Trees are chipped and used as mulch in the school’s garden.

Scouts BSA Troops 71 and 571 will accept Christmas trees and wreaths from 10 a.M. To 4 p.M. On Jan. 4, 5, 11 and 12 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church at 25 N. Rosa Parks Way in Portland and the Portland-Peninsula Optimist Club’s Tree Lot on 7487 N. Chautauqua Blvd. The suggested donation is $10 for a tree and $5 for a wreath. A tree placed on a parking strip in front of a home in a designated area can be picked up for a $15 donation. Call or text 971-350-9910 to arrange a home pick up.

Troop 728 recycled trees on Jan. 4 and 5.

Lake Oswego Troop 230 was at the Yakima Headquarters, 4101 Kruse Way, from 9 a.M.-4:30 p.M. On Jan. 4 and 5 to accept greenery, with a suggested donation of $8 per tree and $4 per wreath or garland. “This is Troop 230′s most important fundraiser and it heavily subsidizes Troop activity costs such as summer camp and Philmont,” according to the troop’s website.

Tigard Troop 419 will pick up trees from driveways for a $12 donation within the coverage area, on Jan. 4, 5 and 11. Pickup is available north to Southwest Hart Road, south to Highway 99W, east to Highway 217 and west to Roy Rogers Road.

Beaverton Troop 618 accepted trees ($10 donation or more) and wreaths ($5 donation) at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 12405 S.W. Butner Road, from 7:30 a.M.-4 p.M. On Jan. 4 and 11:30 p.M.-4 p.M. On Jan. 5. Call or email about curbside pickups: 503-567-9194 or t618treerecycle@gmail.Com

Troop 870 has been recycling Christmas trees in the Beaverton area for more than 25 years. The cover area is between Southwest Farmington Road, Southwest Murray Boulevard, Southwest 198th Ave. And Southwest Old Scholls Ferry. Pick ups are between 9 a.M. And 3 p.M. On Dec. 29 and Jan. 4, 5, 11, 12 and 18. For more information, email t870trees@yahoo.Com.

Laurelhurst Troop 22 hosted its annual tree recycling event from 9 a.M.-5 p.M. On Jan. 4 at 935 N.E. 33rd Ave. The suggested donation is $10-$40.

Troop 24 accepted drop-off trees from 8 a.M-4 p.M. On Jan. 4 at 3900 S.E. Belmont St. In Portland.

Troop 423 and Troop 218 will pick up trees from driveways for a $12 donation within zip codes 97223 and 97224, on Dec. 29 and Jan. 4, 5, 11 and 12. Call 503-972-3423 or go to http://troop423bsa.Org/christmastrees/ to make arrangements (credit cards accepted). The wood chips from the trees will be used in Cook Park through a partnership with the City of Tigard.

Shipping peanuts and unpopped bubble wrap can be reused. Donate it to a mail or packaging store or save it for when you need it. Otherwise, it’s garbage.

For DIYers, Organic Gardening offers these other suggestions for post-Christmas trees grown in Oregon and free of invasive pests:

Make mulch: Cut off the boughs and place them on the ground to protect plants.

Protect birds: Move the tree in its stand outdoors for the winter, where it can provide food and shelter for wild birds. Hang a bird feeder or bags of suet.

A fish home: With the owner’s permission, sink your tree in a deep pond to become habitats for fish and aquatic insects. In shallow wetlands, trees can act as barriers to sand and soil erosion.

Turn it into a trellis: Move the tree to a corner of your yard and in the spring set it up in your garden as a trellis for peas or beans.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *