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Christmas tree recycling program ends Sunday

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
At right, Ryan Matney, arborist with the city of Farmington's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, puts a tree in to a wood chipper on Dec. 28, 2017 at Berg Park.

FARMINGTON — With the holiday season winding down, thoughts turn to how to dispose of Christmas trees.

The tree recycling service offered by Farmington Clean and Beautiful, a program under the city of Farmington and an affiliate with Keep America Beautiful, could provide the answer.

The program is operating two tree recycling locations in Farmington.

Both sites opened on Christmas Day. Trees will be accepted through Sunday.

Trees must be free of all material, including ornaments and lights, for proper recycling.

The drop-off sites are Berg Park at the parking lot near Scott Avenue and San Juan Boulevard and at Farmington Fire Department Station 5, 609 E. 30th St.

Debbie Homer, a specialist for the Farmington Clean and Beautiful program, said the recycling program helps develop mulch for the city to use in its parks and along river trails.

JD Randolph recycles his old Christmas tree for mulch on Dec. 28, 2017 at Berg Park.

Another benefit for recycling is that it reduces the number of trees that end up in the landfill, where a tree's bulky size can take up valuable space, she said.

The program has been operating the tree recycling service for more than a decade. People usually start dropping off trees on Christmas night.

In addition to Christmas night, peak times for tree disposal are the first Saturday after Christmas and near New Year's Day, Homer said.

So far, response this year has been slow, she said adding that could be due to people keeping their trees longer because of the recent winter weather.

A pile of trees was visible at Berg Park from San Juan Boulevard Wednesday.

But no matter the number of trees left at both sites, they are gathered then loaded into a wood chipper to produce mulch.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.