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Monroe County Residents Encouraged To Recycle Live Trees, Wreaths

Christmas treeChristmas Tree close up

If you’re already done with your Christmas tree, you can leave it out for trash pick-up in most cities, but a Monroe County organization is encouraging Hoosiers to choose recycling instead.

Monroe County’s five recycling centers are accepting live tree, wreath and garland drop offs until January 14. Trees and wreaths must be free of all decorations, such as ornaments, lights, tinsel, etc.

“They just drop it off and then what happens is that is later chipped up into mulch and then it’s sold as mulch in the spring," says Elisa Pokral, Media and Education Director for the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District.

Pokral says a live tree with the bulb still intact can be planted, and even a cut tree can be chipped into mulch or safely discarded on your own property.

But artificial trees cannot be recycled.

“An artificial tree lasts about on average five, six years and then it ends up in the landfill," Pokral says. "And it does not biodegrade.”

Pokral says that's one reason why live and cut trees are much better for the environment. According to the University of Illinois Extension, one acre of Holiday trees provides the daily oxygen requirement of 18 people.

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