About 50 Christmas trees were run through a giant wood chipper in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza this morning as city officials announced the dates of a tree recycling program that begins next week.
Collectors from the city’s trash and recycling service Recology will pick up trees left next to bins put out on the curb starting Jan. 2. The tree pickups will continue through Jan. 15.
The tree recycling program aims to dissuade residents from dumping their trees in random spots or burning them once they are dried out in fireplaces or elsewhere.
Recology and city officials are reminding residents that Christmas trees cannot be composted.
Residents are asked to place their undecorated trees on the curb on their regular trash pickup days during the program dates.
A large pile of trees in the plaza became a truckload of mulch and biofuel in a matter of minutes this morning.
Collected trees will be chipped at Recology’s recycling center at 501 Tunnel Ave. and taken to Tracy where the material will be used as boiler fuel to create electricity, according to the city’s Department of the Environment.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional director Jared Blumenfeld helped load some Christmas trees into the chipper this morning. He emphasized that trees can have useful purposes even after the holidays.
“Make sure you don’t just get the benefit of a tree on Christmas,” he said.
Last year, 539 tons of Christmas trees were collected throughout the city.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News