tree.jpgSan Francisco kicked off its annual holiday tree-recycling program this morning at Civic Center Plaza.

About 20 Christmas trees were fed through a giant wood chipper to usher in the city’s 24th year of “treecycling.”

Last year, San Francisco recycled over 477 tons of Christmas trees, according to Kevin Drew, zero waste coordinator for the San Francisco Department of the Environment.

San Francisco, along with Recology Sunset Scavenger and Recology Golden Gate, is once again offering curbside Christmas tree collection and drop-off sites throughout the city beginning next week, Recology spokesman Robert Reed said.

Reed said the trees will be chipped at Recology San Francisco and the wood chips will be transferred to a facility in Tracy. There, they will serve as boiler fuel at a waste-to-energy facility.

San Francisco is leading the nation in waste diversion, according to Recology’s Waste Diversion and Recycling Manager Bob Besso.

Recycling trees is one more way to divert waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, Besso said.

“We’re at 77 percent diversion now,” Drew said. “We’re aiming for zero waste by 2020.”
Besso said trees will be collected Jan. 3 through Jan. 7 and Jan. 10 through Jan. 14.

Residents are asked to place trees on the curb on regularly scheduled trash pickup days, Besso said.

The trees should be cleaned of all ornaments, trimmings and lights, and trees over 6 feet tall should be cut in half, Drew said.

There will also be several drop-off locations throughout the city beginning on Jan. 3, including the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council at 780 Frederick St., which will be open until Jan. 17; Recology Golden Gate at 900 Seventh St. (Berry Street side); and Recology San Francisco at 501 Tunnel Ave., which will be open until Jan. 15.

For more information about drop-off locations and times, residents are encouraged to call Recology Sunset Scavenger at (415) 330-1300 or Recology Golden Gate at (415) 626-4000.

For more information on the treecycling program, please visit

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