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Sustainability Spotlight: Holiday Tree Recycling

Release Date: 2017-12-28

Keep the memories, recycle the tree – that’s what the Department of Public Works, Environmental Services Bureau (ESB) is asking residents to do this holiday season. Every year, thousands of trees are brought into Long Beach to decorate homes and offices. The City doesn’t want these trees to go to waste, taking up space and generating emissions in landfills. When this holiday season ends, take your tree to a drop off location, or put it outside at your trash pick-up location by 7:00am on January 13th for the city-wide tree collection.

What happens to all these holiday trees after they are collected for recycling? Most of the trees go to a local facility, where they are transported to be chipped and turned into mulch. This provides added environmental benefits because mulch can be used to retain water in gardens and prevent weeds without using chemicals. The remainder of the trees are sent to a waste-to-energy location at either our local SERRF plant or a green waste facility where trees are combined with other biomass to generate energy.

For the past 4 years, the tree recycling program has saved an average of over 200 tons of trees per year from going to the landfill. This also saves on landfill emissions and is the equivalent of taking nearly 16 cars off the road or over 181,000 miles driven.

You can drop off your holiday tree Monday through Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday-Sunday from 9am-2pm, from December 26th through January 12th. Find the nearest drop off location to you on ESB’s Drop Off Location Map. Drop off locations are placed all over the city to ensure a there is a convenient spot for everyone in Long Beach to recycle their tree. Tree stands, ornaments and lights must be removed before dropping off your tree, and any trees over 12 feet should be cut in half. If you can’t make it to a drop off location and you have City refuse collection service, you can put your tree out for pickup on January 13th. Help us recycle more trees this year and share this program with friends, family, and neighbors. Follow ESB @LBRecycles on Facebook and Twitter for more updates on their waste reduction programs.