Los Angeles County residents are being urged to recycle their live Christmas trees in order to boost recycling and reduce fire hazards.
In some parts of the county, including in several local cities, special drop-off sites have been set up for residents wanting to recycle their live trees. In other areas, curbside recycling is being offered for a limited time.
In addition to being better for the environment, officials cautioned that dried out trees can pose a fire hazard.
At a press conference held just before the Christmas holiday at a fire station in Cypress Park, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Fire Chief Brian Cummings demonstrated how to recycle the trees properly, and called on city residents to take advantage of the city’s annual tree recycling program.
“This holiday season every Angeleno can give a gift to Mother Nature by recycling our Christmas trees,” Villaraigosa said. “If every Angeleno pitches in and recycles their Christmas trees, together we can increase recycling so significantly that we will lead the nation in waste diversion and reduce the number of Christmas tree-related fires in the City.”
Firefighters respond annually to more than 200 Christmas tree-related fires that cause, on average, 10 deaths and more than $10 million in property damage, according to the mayor’s office.
“Dried-out Christmas trees create a significant fire hazard,” Cummings said. “That’s why, for the safety of everyone in your household, it’s important to ensure that Christmas trees are … removed from the home soon after the holidays.”
Both city and county officials say all decorations and the stand should be removed from the tree
City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles city residents can recycle trees in three ways: by cutting them into pieces and placing them into the green yard-waste bins, by leaving the trees intact on the curb next to the green bins on collection days and by dropping the trees at one of 21 drop-off sites on Sunday, Jan. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., including these two local spots:
At Griffith Park, Junction of Golden State (5) & Ventura (134) Freeways-LA Zoo parking lot, or FIRE STATION #44 in the Northeast Los Angeles neighborhood of Cypress Park, located at 1410 Cypress Ave., LA 90065. For more information call (213) 485-6244.
Los Angeles County-Unincorporated Areas
Through Jan. 19, residents in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County can recycle their trees by leaving them curbside on regular trash collection days. Trees over six feet should be cut in half. The trees collected will be recycled and used as compost, mulch, or ground cover, which reduces the production of landfill waste and preserves natural resources, according to the county.
Those who miss their curbside recycling dates should cut their trees into smaller pieces and place them in a green waste container. For more information on the county’s Christmas Tree Disposal Program, go to www.CleanLA.comor call 1(888) CLEANLA for guidelines on Christmas tree removal in your community.
Through Jan. 8, residents can dispose of their Christmas tree by leaving it curbside on their regular trash collection day. Starting Jan. 9, and continuing for approximately two-weeks, residents can dispose of their tree by taking it to one of two city locations between 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.: Ford Park, located at 8000 Park Lane, or to the Public Works Yard, 8327 S. Garfield Ave. For more information, call (562) 806-7770. No flocked trees will be accepted.
City of Commerce
Calmet will pick up Christmas Trees on regular waste collection days through Jan. 11 for recycling. Trees taller than four feet must be cut in half. Flocked trees will be accepted. For more information, call CalMet Services at (800) 990-6387.
Through the end of January, residents can dispose of their Christmas in the large trash bin that will be located in the City Hall East parking lot.
Athens Disposal will also be picking up Christmas trees for recycling on regular waste collection days through the second week of January. Residents are asked to remove ornaments and place the tree next to their trash bins. Trees over six feet must be cut in half. If residents miss the dates for recycling they may cut up the tree and place it in their yard waste containers.
For more information, call Montebello’s Parks and Recreation at (323) 887-4540.
Holiday trees will be collected and recycled for the first two weeks after Christmas on your regular trash pickup day: Cut tree in half if it is over six feet tall and place tree on the curb on your normal trash collection day next to your automated containers.
If you live in a multi-family unit with dumpster collection, place your tree at the curb (or alley, if applicable) on the same trash day as the single-family homes in your immediate neighborhood. If you are unsure of whether your street has alley collection, call Athens Services waste collection at 888-336-6100.