In 2014 according to the National Christmas Tree Association, $1 billion was spent in the US to purchase 26.3 million real trees. Despite being a viable resource, many of these trees close out the holiday season in a landfill. With a little extra planning, however, trees are being given a second life through Treecycling.
Across the nation, Treecycling—recycling trees and greens for reuse—has been crafted to meet the needs of specific regions. In Louisiana, trees are used to combat coastal erosion; at the Oakland zoo, elephants who enjoy the sweet taste of evergreens dine on discarded trees; fisherman in Portland use woody trees to reinvigorate fish habitats; and in Philadelphia mulch has been used to beautify parks, schoolyards, senior centers, and vacant lots.
The Philadelphia Streets Department announced last week that their Residential Christmas Tree Recycling Program, now in its 27th year, will run this year from January 4-January 16. Trees may be dropped off at Sanitation Convenience Centers and collection sites throughout the city.
Residents in South Philly may consider the following collection sites:
- Broad & Christian, Jan 9 & Jan 16, 9am-3pm
- 20th & Hartranft Streets, Jan 9 & Jan 16, 9am-3pm
- 15th & Bigler Streets, Jan 9 & Jan 16, 9am-3pm
- Columbus Square Park, a collaboration between PSCA, EPX, Newbold and LoMo, Jan 9 from 10am-4pm at the corner of 13th and Reed. The suggested donation is $5/tree.
greenlimbs will provide additional opportunities for South Philadelphians to Treecycling by hosting collection and chipping sites in Pennsport, Queen Village, and Bella Vista on Saturday, January 9:
- Bainbridge Green, 4th & Bainbridge, 9am-1pm
- Rite Aid, 801 S. 9th Street, 9am-1pm
- Whole Foods Market, 929 South Street, 9am-1pm
- Jefferson Square Park, 4th & Washington Avenue, 9am-4pm
Celebrating its 5th year, greenlimbs has set a goal of diverting 500 trees from landfill. Bare (ornament, metal and stand free) trees and greens of all shapes and sizes will be accepted. Trees and greens collected this year will be chipped into mulch and donated to Jefferson Square Park and to vacant lots in Point Breeze. A suggested donation of $5/tree, $3/wreath allows greenlimbs and partnering organizations to continue their good, green work.