After so much anticipation and such a big build-up, the holidays are done. There’s something of a let down for many, as they anticipate the return to work, school and a more normal existence. It may be a while before those Christmas lights come down, but most of those who celebrate the holiday have one chore they can’t put off until spring – getting rid of that Christmas tree.
What happens when the fir flies and how can you ensure it makes a big difference to the environment? Simply put it in the right place at the right time. Most cities will pick it up and compost it, turning it into useful mulch.
“It comes back as compost that people put back in their gardens,” explains Toronto spokesman Robert Orpin. “Check your collection calendar. There is a list of locations where we give it away free. It’s given away free at community events. The environment days, it’s also given away free.”
And getting rid of them all doesn’t – you should pardon the expression – grow on trees. The city collects about 100,000 of the Yuletide bushes every year. And that’s the best Christmas present you could give Mother Earth. “That represents about a thousand tons worth of material that’s diverted from landfill,” Orpin outlines.
Here’s the schedule and advice from several cities across the GTA.
The city will collect your tree as part of its regular garbage pickup for the first two weeks of the month, so you’re going to have to lug it outside. But there are rules about what you should and shouldn’t do before taking it out to the curb.
Remove all decorations, nails, wire, and plastic bags
Don’t place it in a plastic bag
What happens to it? As in most cities, the trees are shredded into wood chips and used as mulch. But you don’t have to get the city to do it for you. You can compost your own and use the end result in your own garden, instead.
Christmas tree pick-up begins about the second week in January.
Leave it outside for your regular pick-up.