Westmoreland recycling sites will accept live Christmas trees
Those who prefer a live Christmas tree for their holiday celebration won’t have to look far to find an environmentally-friendly way to dispose of it.
Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling is urging area residents to take advantage of “tree-cycling” sites throughout Westmoreland County, where spent trees can be dropped off at no charge after Christmas.
The annual program requires that all decorations be removed from each tree, as well as any bag or wrappings used to transport the tree.
This year’s program co-sponsors include Penn Township, Youngwood Borough and James A. Rutter Company of Murrysville.
“Over the years, our partners have recycled thousands of Christmas trees, but thousands more are put out for the trash,” serving “no more useful purpose than to take up space forever in a landfill,” said Ellen Keefe, executive director of Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling.
On the other hand, trees that are dropped off for recycling will be chipped into mulch and used to renew the soil in green spaces or enhance wildlife habitats. It’s estimated that one live tree will make 5 pounds of mulch.
While there is no fee for tree-cycling, some organizations that host drop-off sites — such as Boy Scout Troop 239, at Schramm’s Farm & Orchards in Penn Township, and Murrysville-Export Rotary, in the Windstream parking lot — may collect donations for their own projects, Keefe said.
Dates and hours of operation vary among the sites. Changes this year include elimination of drop-off sites at the Lower Burrell municipal building and at State Gamelands 42 in New Florence.
In the Level Green area of Penn Township, trees may be dropped off at the Level Green Volunteer Fire Department instead of the local ball field.
Sites that are open around the clock include: The Allegheny Township maintenance building, from Dec. 25 through Jan. 31; Derry Borough garage, Dec. 26 - Jan. 31; Derry Township municipal building, Dec. 26 - Jan. 31; Hempfield Park, Dec. 26 - Jan. 25; Level Green Fire Department, Dec. 26 - Jan. 20.
Other sites, with specific hours, will be available in Irwin, Ligonier, Mt. Pleasant Borough, North Huntingdon, Scottdale, Unity and Youngwood.
For more information, call 724-879-4020 or visit westmorelandcleanways.org and select “Christmas Trees” under the “Recycling” heading.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @jhimler_news.