Christmas Tree’s Life After Holidays

By Paige Browning

Once you accept that Christmas is over, you can trash, recycle, or donate your tree. People in Spokane County have several options, whether the tree is authentic or fake. For those who want to ensure their tree doesn’t end up in a landfill, people can donate it to groups like EarthWorks Recycling.
Jim Schrock: “Well it gets reused as some type of resource rather than just running it through the incinerator. And while you’re coming in to us you can also bring your other recyclables, such as if you got a new TV you can bring your old TV in. We take dozens and dozens of different items.”
Jim Schrock at EarthWorks says they accept real trees for a small cost, and take in fake trees to sell at a second hand store. While some may hustle to get the brittle tree out, Schrock says other wait… for a while.
Jim Schrock: “I’m always curious to see when the last one’s gonna come in, I think we’ve gotten as late as the end of March. And they’re pretty bare by then.”
The real trees get shredded and are made into new products, like hog fuel, soil amendments, or compost.
Another option is donating your tree to groups who will recycle it for you. Local Boy Scout troops have set up collection sites at area grocery stores, and Ferris High School students and parents are collecting them for a donation to their senior all-nighter.
Lastly, those living in the Spokane city limits can get their tree picked up curbside from the waste department. The city will collect trees December 30th through January 17th, and says they’ll be turned into compost. Trees taller than six feet need to be cut in half.
As for your Christmas lights, there aren’t local recycling options. But the website accepts strings of lights in the mail and in return sends a coupon for new LED lights.
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