San Francisco’s annual Christmas tree recycling program will start next week when residents can leave their trees curbside for pickup, city officials announced today.

The “treecycling” was the topic of a news conference in Civic Center Plaza, where officials from the city’s Department of the Environment and Recology SF inserted more than a dozen trees into a chipper.

Curbside collection will be offered from Jan. 2-15.

Trees should be cleared of all decorations and debris, and must be placed next to trash bins by 6 a.m. on a resident’s regular trash pickup day.

Any tree over 6 feet tall must be cut in half, city officials said.

The trees will be chipped at Recology San Francisco’s recycling center at 501 Tunnel Ave. and the chips will be converted to boiler fuel used for generators at the center, said Bob Besso, Recology’s recycling program manager.

While other plants can be converted to compost, Christmas trees do not fall into that category, Besso said.

“They’re too acidic,” he said.

San Francisco collected about 562 tons of Christmas trees last year, and is in its 26th year of the “treecycling” program, according to city officials.

Anyone with questions about the program is asked to visit or call Recology Sunset Scavenger at (415) 330-1300 or Recology Golden Gate at (415) 626-4000.

Photo and story: Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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