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North Hills communities recycle Christmas trees for use in parks, bonfires

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Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Once Christmas has passed and trees are stripped of lights, tinsel and ornaments, North Hills communities aren't done with them.

Some municipalities recycle Christmas trees and use the wood for landscaping mulch. One even fuels a community event with evergreens.


Christmas trees in McCandless residents' homes might reappear in their gardens this spring, thanks to the town's tree-recycling program.

“There's always an advantage to recycling anything,” McCandless manager Toby Cordek said.

Cordek said McCandless has recycled trees for about 35 years, and the program has widespread participation each year.

Residents can leave trees on the curb to be picked up on their regular recycling day from Jan. 2 to 17. Public works crews will collect the trees, mulch them and leave the mulch for residents to collect in the soccer field behind McCandless' town hall at 9955 Grubbs Road.

Franklin Park

In Franklin Park, residents' Christmas trees are used in two different ways.

Christmas trees placed at the curb on Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 by 7 a.m. will be retrieved by borough employees.

The majority of the trees will be chipped and reused in parks, but some will fuel a community bonfire on Jan. 18 at Blueberry Hill Park, off Nicholson Road.

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the free event will feature carriage rides, s'mores, music and sledding, if there's snow.

“It's a nice family event,” said Rochelle Barry, recreation program director for the borough. “People come out after dinner and take a carriage ride and have a s'more.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good to donate.

Marshall Township

Marshall Township recycles trees through its waste-hauling contractor, Vogel Disposal Service Inc., said Mike Schmidt, municipal-waste coordinator for the township.

Residents can place trees on the curb for on their regular recycling day from Jan. 6 to 15, and they will be picked up and brought to a green landfill, where trees can decompose naturally with other biosolids.

Allegheny County

Allegheny County also offers an annual Christmas tree-recycling program from late December through mid-January, although exact dates had not been determined as of this edition's deadline.

County residents can drop off Christmas trees at North Park and the other eight county parks from dawn to dusk. Trees will be mulched and reused by park landscapers.

The North Park drop-off location will be in the swimming pool's parking lot, near the intersection of South Ridge and Hemlock drives

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or

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