Westmoreland Cleanways sponsors 'Treecycling' effort
After its branches have been stripped of ornaments and garland, a Christmas tree can still be useful, even to local parks and animals, Westmoreland Cleanways officials said.
The nonprofit sponsors an annual “Christmas Tree-cycling” program, during which residents can drop off their live trees at 20 sites across Westmoreland County.
“You are taking your live Christmas tree to a set drop-off location where it will then get turned into mulch ... or it gets used as wildlife habitat or even some erosion barriers in lakes and rivers versus going in a landfill where it just takes up space,” said Natalie Reese, program director for West-moreland Cleanways.
When the trees are placed along the banks of lakes and rivers, they provide an erosion barrier as well as a habitat for fish, she said.
The trees provide a fresh coat of mulch in some local green spaces, including Hempfield Park and the Ligonier Nature Trail. One live Christmas tree can become about five pounds of mulch, which eventually will decompose and nourish the soil.
Trees donated in Westmoreland County directly benefit wildlife and parks here, she said.
In 2012, about 2,600 trees were collected countywide, 827 more than the year before. Last year was the first time the figures included trees dropped off at Valley Landfill for on-site composting, Reese said.
Valley Landfill, along Pleasant Valley Road in Penn Township, will offer tree recycling services again this year.
Westmoreland Cleanways has sponsored the program for two decades. It collects about 1,500 trees a year.
It's free to recycle the trees, but some groups that sponsor collection sites request donations.
Trees must be free of decorations, tree bags and wrappings when they are dropped off.
Across the United States, 15,000 farms grow 350 million Christmas trees, which support a complex ecosystem, according to the organization's website.
The group discourages the use of artificial trees, contending they are manufactured by using methods that consume natural resources, and the plastic can contain PVC.
Rossilynne Skena Culgan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Coming off hill revives Seton Hill University, downtown Greensburg
- Marathoner hit by vehicle in Murrysville recuperates
- Westmoreland community leaders discuss how to meet hunger needs
- Mutual Aid plans fundraising throughout Westmoreland County to bolster member numbers
- Charges filed in stolen property investigation
- ‘Bride’ goes on at Geyer theater in Scottdale
- Fines against MAX Environmental up to Westmoreland judge
- 4 sentenced for roles in botched Lower Burrell heist
- Mt. Pleasant Township home destroyed by fire
- 4 seek 3 nominations for Southwest Greensburg council
- Latrobe pharmacy will offer overdose antidote