Recycling gives Christmas trees new use

Jordan Beck | Daily Press Delta County Landfill Manager Don Pyle is pictured with a Christmas tree brought to the landfill. Christmas trees can be disposed of at the landfill (during its normal business hours) or at one of two pick-up sites in Escanaba.

ESCANABA — Escanaba’s Department of Public Works is once again providing Christmas tree drop-off sites this winter.

Public Works Director and City Engineer Bob Becotte said people can drop their Christmas trees off for recycling at one of two sites in the city.

“One is at the (Ludington Park) bandshell parking lot and the other (is) … behind St. Anne’s Church,” he said.

An end date has not been set for the program, Becotte said.

“We have no time limit on it,” he said. Instead, the city will continue to collect trees for as long as they are brought to the pick-up sites.

Trees collected at these sites will be brought to the Delta County Landfill.

“Basically, they are put into a pile until the springtime,” Landfill Manager Don Pyle said.

When this season arrives, Pyle said a logging company will come to the landfill with a tree-chipping machine.

“They chip it all up into wood chips,” he said. Some of the material from this process is used as compost, some is used as cover material at the landfill, and some is used to help support trucks driving into the landfill during wet times of the year.

Pyle said the landfill’s composting program has been ongoing for the past decade.

“2009 was when we started the compost site,” he said.

As an alternative to using the pick-up sites in Escanaba, Pyle said people who wish to get rid of their Christmas trees can bring their trees directly to the landfill.

“During normal business hours, people can come to the landfill and dispose of their Christmas trees for free,” he said.

While the number of Christmas trees brought to Escanaba’s pick-up sites has been going down slightly each year (which Becotte said was presumably due to the popularity of artificial trees), a significant number of trees are still recycled at these sites annually.

“There’s quite a few trees that we get,” Becotte said.