City tree recycling service in effect

The Christmas Light Source light recycling program is active all year. Your tree needs to be completely stripped of all decorations, and placed near "Christmas Tree" drop-off signs around the city.

TVs, microwaves and computer monitors will not be accepted.

The city will grind up the trees to use as mulch in local parks. Trees collected during this time will be made into mulch and will be available to residents in the spring.

Officials encourage residents to be mindful not to place trees in roadways or blocking mailboxes, fire hydrants and driveways. Lights, ornaments, tinsel, and other decorations should be completely removed by residents before hauling and dropping off the trees in the designated area.

Since 2011, thousands of people have used the service, either to order a Christmas tree delivered to their home before the holiday, or to have it picked up after. Collection sites will be open daily from 9 am to 4:30 p.m. and staffed by community volunteers. In other jurisdictions, it's up to homeowners to drop off their old trees.

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Plus, now you know you've got options for the tree after Christmas, even if you miss the curbside Christmas tree recycling program offered by your city or town. Customers without a yard waste cart can still put their tree on the curb, but they will be charged an extra item fee.

For more information or to volunteer, contact the Hartwell Lake Manager's Office at 888-893-0678 or Thurmond Lake Project Office at 800-533-3478. When the holidays are done, pull the sheet, drop cloth or bag around the tree and carry it outside. Leaving the tree up beyond Ephiphany - Jan. 6, 2017 - invites bad luck, according to superstitions.

Once the greenery has dried, brush off the needles and use them to make potpourri.

Although the drop-off site is offered mainly as a public service, the trees do find new life after they're tossed on the pile.

"[Christmas trees] provide habitat for aquatic insects which supplies essential food during the early stages of most fish species", said Fleming.

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