They’re mostly chipped into mulch in metro Toledo.
But in other parts of the country, recycled Christmas trees have been used for fish and bird habitat, as well as devices to slow down the wave action that erodes riverbanks and lake shorelines.
In the East, Christmas trees have been used to rebuild beaches along the New Jersey shoreline devastated by Hurricane Sandy. They’ve also been used for beach improvements throughout Florida and other states.
Now’s the time to decide if you want yours put to good use. Otherwise, it’ll likely rot in some landfill or become a brown, brittle eyesore somewhere else.
Americans love real Christmas trees.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, 25 million to 30 million of them are sold in the United States each year, nearly all harvested from tree farms in all 50 states and Canada.
Nearly 350 million trees that are to be used at Christmas are growing on tree farms at any given time, with an average of 1 to 3 seedlings planted each spring to replace every tree that has been cut down, statistics the association uses to support its claim that the national tree population is solid and sustainable.
An estimated 4,000 tree- recycling programs exist throughout the country, several here in metro Toledo.
Most of what’s discarded along Toledo street curbs ends up in the city’s landfill.
Trees should be cleared of decorations, bags, and other materials. Check with your local community, but here’s a quick rundown of some of the better-known recycling options:
Toledo: Drop-off locations for city residents who want their trees chipped into mulch are operating through Jan. 17 at six city parks. Go to Jermain, Schneider, Ravine II, Detwiler, Bowman, Greenwood Park (use the Laskey Road entrance), or Greenwood, (use the Darrell entrance). The city promises to have signs indicating the location of all drop-off points inside each park.
Bowling Green (city only): City residents should have their trees out on their curbs by 7 a.m. Jan. 6. The city will do one citywide curbside pickup that week. Residents should note the pickups will be done according to the city’s four wards, not by normal collection days. Crews will not return to streets they have completed.
Bowling Green (city and surrounding areas): Wood County Park District Headquarters, 18729 Mercer Rd., drop-offs through Jan. 10.
Maumee: Curbside pickup through Jan. 17, although residents are asked to have their trees out on the curb by the nights of Jan. 5 or Jan. 12.
Ottawa Hills: Curbside through at least Jan. 8.
Perrysburg: W.W. Knight Nature Preserve, 29530 White Rd., through Jan. 10.
Sylvania: Curbside pickup after Jan. 1.
Sylvania Township: Syl-vania Township Administration Building, 4927 Holland-Sylvania Rd., through Jan. 13.
Fostoria: Fostoria Street Department, 1235 Perrysburg Rd., through Jan. 15 or the city’s compost area at Meadowlark Park.
Fremont: Birchard Park (Washington Street, near basketball courts) and East Side Park (Maple Shelter House) Jan. 3 through Jan. 31.
Port Clinton: Curbside pickup through Jan. 16.
Tiffin: Tiffin Public Works building, 601 Miami St., through at least Jan. 10, or along the fence by the brush pile on the north side of the city’s Water Pollution Control Center, 961 N. Water St.
Gibsonburg: Curbside pickup through at least Jan. 10.
Grand Rapids: Otsego Park, 20000 West River Rd., through Jan. 10.
Marblehead: Curbside pickup through January.
North Baltimore: Slippery Elm Trail (parking lot on East Broadway) through Jan. 10.
Oak Harbor: Curbside pickup through January.
Pemberville: William Henry Harrison Park, 644 Bierley Ave., through Jan. 10.
Temperance: The Bedford High School senior class will collect trees at the school district’s bus garage north of Dean and Douglas roads from noon to 4 p.m. this Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 4. A donation of $5 or more is requested.
Several other sites in rural Monroe County, including Berlin Township Hall, Newport; Carr Park, Temperance; Ida Township Hall; Monroe Township Hall, 4925 E. Dunbar Rd., and Petersburg Department of Public Works Yard will take trees for free for chipping through Jan. 17, according to Monroe County’s Web site.
Contact Tom Henry at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6079.