Still have your Christmas tree up? Recycle it!


Environmental Fridays

Brianna Stanley

According to those that observe holiday decoration “rules,” the sixth of January is the last day that it is socially acceptable to have your tree up. I, however, have become emotionally attached to my tree, and he’s still looking cute and merry in the corner. For any fellow Christmas tree rebels out there, here are two options for how we can recycle our (real) trees when the time finally comes to say goodbye.

The first option is to recycle your tree into a fish habitat. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has drop-off locations throughout the state. The Lexington drop-off is Jacobson Park between the hours of 8-5 until the end of January. The KDFWR uses the trees to create fish attractors and artificial “reefs” for nesting in lakes all over the state.

A second, less exciting but still environmentally friendly option is to put your tree on the curb to be collected as yard waste. In Lexington, this pick-up service will be available until Jan. 25. Here is a list of options for other Kentucky locations. These trees are often mulched, then the mulch is provided free to community members.

If you have a fake tree, reuse it again next year; don’t just throw it out. 

The only caution when it comes to disposing of you real tree is not to burn it in your fireplace; this contributes to creosote buildup and may cause a chimney fire.

Whether you’re still desperately holding on to the holiday spirit or have already disposed of your tree, the fish habitat collection and curb side collection are annual services. Personally, the idea of my tree going onto live a second life as a fish habitat makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. He lives on! Whatever your motivation, recycling your tree is an easy, environmentally friendly option that I hope you will take.