Discarded Christmas trees keep on giving all year
Thousands of Christmas trees are serving new uses through recycling once they've given their all for Western Pennsylvania holiday traditions.
“Mother Nature's been doing it on her own for millions of years,” said Dave Mazza, director of the Pennsylvania Resources Council, an environmental organization with an office on the South Side.
Allegheny County mulches Christmas trees and uses them in its parks; Butler and Fayette counties leave them whole and anchor them in area lakes and streams to improve fish habitats.
“It's been a really successful program,” said Amie Downs, spokeswoman for Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “In previous years, we collected trees in four parks. This year, we're collecting them at all of our parks.” The county collected about 600 trees last year, she said.
Mulch produced in Allegheny County will line trails and aid plant beds in parks throughout the county, Downs said.
Officials at the Lexington, Ky.-based National Christmas Tree Association estimate 25 to 30 million live Christmas trees are sold in the United States each year. They say one live Christmas tree makes about 5 pounds of mulch, which can help absorb unwanted chemicals and improve soil quality.
Westmoreland County uses mulch from Christmas trees to line walking trails in Hempfield Park, and in Beaver County, mulch from about 100 chipped Christmas trees is sold to residents in the spring.
“It's a little money generator,” said Matt Marsilio, a technician at the Beaver County Recycling Center in Bradys Run Park. “It's what we're all about. We let nothing go to waste.”
The Army Corps of Engineers places whole trees in the Youghiogheny River Lake to be used as fish habitat, said Park Ranger Ronald Slezak. Officials at Moraine State Park do the same.
A portion of the mulch that comes from trees dropped off at city recycling centers will be used in flower beds at parks throughout Pittsburgh, said Bill Klimovich, assistant director of Pittsburgh Public Works' Bureau of Environmental Services.
Mazza said giving new life to trees is natural.
“It's basically just like recycling. You use them for a purpose, recycle it and put back into the system again,” he said.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ferrante trial: Cyanide order form in plain sight
- Film Office announces two Downtown road closures Monday
- Wilkinsburg couple arrested after baby girl dies following beating
- State’s ‘public-private’ transportation deal will replace 53 bridges in Allegheny County
- Port Authority steps closer to linking Oakland and Downtown, makes switch from Highmark to Aetna
- Rail maintenance in Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel to cause bus detours Saturday morning
- Howard Hanna family donates $1M for business student scholarships at University of Pittsburgh
- PennDOT warns of delays next week on Butler Street near Highland Park Bridge
- Bridge work to close Cliff Mine Road this weekend
- Newsmaker: Stephen J. Bagnato Jr.
- Man shot, killed after leaving West End bar early Friday