As a way for towns to save dollars and improve their recycling rates, the county will accept Christmas trees free of charge for recycling at the Burlington County Resource Recovery Complex in Florence/Mansfield Townships.
"We’re not trying to rush through the holidays," said Freeholder Joseph Donnelly, "but as the holiday season winds to a close, residents should contact their municipalities to see if they offer Christmas tree recycling."
For trees to be eligible for free disposal with the county, residents or municipalities must bring them to the landfill complex as a separate load (not mixed with trash). No artificial or flocked trees can be accepted. All plastic bags, ropes, decorations, garland, tinsel, ornaments, lights, stands, wire and nails should be removed.
"'Treecycling' is an easy way to return a renewable and natural resource back to the environment," Donnelly said.
The county grinds up the trees to use as an amendment to compost produced at the co-composting facility.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States every year. Christmas trees are a renewable resource, with 98 percent of them grown and harvested each year as a crop. They are carbon-neutral and create organic, biodegradable waste, making them the greener choice for Christmas greenery in comparison to artificial trees.
For more information, call the Resource Recovery Complex scalehouse, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at 609-499-5300 or the County Recycling Office at 609-499-1001.