San Francisco city officials are getting excited this morning about the smell of mulched evergreens in front of City Hall.
Residents and visitors can get a sniff as a giant chipper mulches Christmas trees to kick-off the 28th annual Chipping of the Trees event at 11 a.m. in Civic Center Plaza off Larkin Street.
The event is held to announce the official dates of the city’s Christmas Tree Collection Program. That program will help the city make progress towards its goal of achieving zero waste by 2020.
Zero waste means sending nothing to the landfill or the incinerator.
Last year, San Francisco recycled more than 539 tons of Christmas trees, according to the San Francisco Department of the Environment.
“We encourage everyone who disposes of a Christmas tree to take advantage of this great program that helps us get closer to our zero waste goal,” said San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru.
Tree collections will occur January 2 to January 16 on regular service days. City officials are asking residents to place trees next to their recycling carts before 6 a.m. on their regular pickup day. Officials are also asking residents to remove tinsel, decorations, plastic bags, stands, fake snow “flocking” and lights and cut in half any trees taller than 6 feet.
Recology will chip the trees at a center in San Francisco and take the chips to Tracy where they’ll be used to generate electricity.
“Treecycling is a great way to keep the holiday season green,” said the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment Debbie Raphael.