With Christmas being long gone, there are still a few days left to take advantage of the city’s Christmas tree disposal program for those who have held onto the holiday.
The drop-off site, located at Southwest Parkway and South 22nd Street, next to Drake Field Park, has been accepting trees since the day after the holiday and will continue until Monday, Jan. 17.
Brady McKinley, assistant director of the Department of Public Works and Transportation, said the city has held the program for 20 to 25 years.
“This is just your normal disposal. It’s offering a service and stuff,” McKinley said. “It’s taken care of by the parks department and our landfill, which landfill falls under public works.”
McKinley explained the trees will be taken to the St. Joseph landfill, and from there will be disposed of by a wood chipper.
“And we actually recycle those on-site, basically,” he said.
At their landfill site, they have storm water measures in place to meet their permits for the Department of Natural Resources. To complete this, McKinley said that they use the wood chips from recycled debris to prevent storm water flooding.
“It’s a benefit not only to us, but also the people, you know, the residents of this city, to be able to dispose of their trees safely, you know, and not dump at dead-end streets and things like that,” he said.
McKinley said that the landfill will usually receive four to five dump trucks full of trees. He said the amount for this year might be two dump trucks worth of the trees.
“It doesn’t take a lot of manpower and equipment, you know, to move (those trees) from that drop-off to there,” he said, noting how it might only take a couple of hours.
For the drop-off, McKinley said they don’t want trees that have any kind of garnishment and want them to be as clean as possible.
“Because they (the trees) are going to go back into the environment in one form or the other,” he said. “So, obviously, you know, we want to make sure they’re disposed of correctly.”