By Gail Paquette
With an estimated 2,000,000 Christmas trees sold across Canada yearly, according to the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association, it is encouraging to know they are 100 percent biodegradable.
Many cities and municipalities across Canada pick up the discarded trees from the curbside on specified collection days to put them through shredders. The trees provide truckloads of chips to be used in city parks.
Belleville’s Environmental and Operational Services Department has been recycling Christmas trees for 21 years.
“Why not do something positive and bring them back to where they came from.” said Larry Glover, parks manager for the city.
“They eventually revert to soil, so we are constantly refurbishing and topping up.”
If programs like this were not in place the trees would be disposed of in landfills.
One of the first things on the agenda for Public Works in the new year is to send employees out to gather the trees. They cover the entire city from Wallbridge- Loyalist Road to Point Anne and from Hwy 401 to the Bay Bridge. This year the urban areas of Thurlow Ward was added to the list
It is estimated more than 1000 trees are chopped up and used throughout the parks in the city for mulch and pathways.
“This year we are making nature trails throughout Boyd Park,” said Glover. “We have always used the chips as mulch around trees and in perennial beds in the city’s parks.
The program officially ends at the end of January, but Glover says they will accept the trees at the yard at 259 North Park Street up until the end of February.
“Sometimes people even come later then that,” he said. “We wouldn’t turn anyone away.”
Although this recycling program is strictly for Christmas trees, Public Works has bins to collect a variety of brush and green waste throughout the year.