By Peggy Revell on December 29, 2017.
Holiday cleanup has begun, and with it the City of Medicine Hat’s annual Christmas tree recycling program is up and running.
“It’s for real trees only, not artificial trees,” said solid waste utility manager Ed Jollymore of the annual program where Hatters can drop off trees at four different locations from now to Jan. 31.
The three depot locations include 3232 Dunmore Rd., by the Medicine Hat Mall, 240 Kipling Recycling Depot, and 172 Altawanta Dr. at the Shamrock Recycling Depot. As well, Hatters can haul their tree to the landfill site for disposal, free of cost.
“It depends on the year but we can collect about 1,200 to 1,800 Christmas trees that we receive,” said Jollymore, “We take them to the compost operation at the landfill, we grind them, and we use them in our compost operation, and the compost is then used to go back into yards and flower beds or wherever.
It’s important that lights, ornaments, tinsel, plastic and the stand be removed from all the trees being dropped off.
“Otherwise it’ll get in and it will contaminate the product, the finished compost. Most of it we’re able to remove, but there’s always some that can get through,” said Jollymore.
In previous years, the trees were hauled from the depot to the landfill, and then ground up for composting there. Now they’re ground up at the site and then hauled, said Jollymore.
“We used to haul, depending on the tree, 10 to 20 trees and now with grinding we can easily haul 40-60 trees at a time.”
The program has been a successful one over the years, said Jollymore, and a win-win for people as waste is turned into something useful.
“We’re seeing the bulk of the trees (dropped off), and see very few into the garbage, or just left to rot on their own.”
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