Christmas tree recycling underway

Published: Dec. 26, 2016 at 4:28 PM PST
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The morning after, Christmas 2016 is barely yet a memory, but some apparently are eager to move on. Their trees are coming down and showing up at a recycling center.

"I think it's cool," says Tierra Smithson, a Girl Scout volunteer manning a recycling site. "I mean it's nothing I would probably do. I like to look at my tree, but it's cool they bring it here."

Here--in this case--is a parking lot at Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks, one of six collection sites set up each year by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful.

It's one of a few post-holiday fates for a Christmas tree. Some send them to the landfill; others unfortunately dump them in the desert. This is the back-to-the-environment responsible destination.

"They get turned into wood chips and used throughout Reno, Sparks and Washoe County Parks and the leftovers are available to any property owner in the area to use in their yards," says Matthew Salazar of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful

Obviously it's the first day for this year's drive, the first for the volunteers from Girl Scout Troop 14 who do this every year and it's off to a good start.

"We've got a decent amount of trees out here so far," says scout Irene De Han but it will speed up as the day goes on with trees pretty much filling up the whole lot stacked three or four trees high."

They ask for a two- or three-dollar donation and they have one other request.

"Do not put tinsel or flocking on your trees when you bring them in." says De Han. "It will break the mulching machine and we'll be out here for hours taking tinsel off your trees."

Other than that, big or small, pine, fir or spruce, they want your tree.

You can move on from the holiday--as eventually we all must--knowing that evergreen that kept you in a holiday mood is still--in a very real way--part of the landscape.

There are three primary collection sites, Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks, Bartley Ranch in southwest Reno and Rancho San Rafael.

Trees can also be taken to Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District fire houses in Spanish Springs, Lemmon Valley and East Lake Boulevard in Washoe Valley.

Here is a list of all the addresses:

Bartley Ranch Regional Park: 6000 Bartley Ranch Rd, Reno

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park: 1595 N Sierra St, Reno

Shadow Mt. Sports Complex: 3300 Sparks Blvd, Sparks

Truckee Meadows Fire Station 17 – Spanish Springs: 500 Rockwell Blvd

Truckee Meadows Fire Station 223 – Lemmon Valley: 130 Nectar Street

Truckee Meadows Fire Station 16 – Washoe Valley: 1240 East Lake Blvd