CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING
Christmas trees are a staple of the holiday season. Sadly, many of them end up in landfills, but parishes throughout Louisiana are changing that trend. Five parishes - Jefferson, Orleans, St. John the Baptist, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne - have programs that recycle your tree to help protect our coast and engage volunteers
Since the programs began, more than one million trees have been used to help our coast. To make it even easier for Louisianans to recycle the next million Christmas trees, CRCL has pulled together information from all five parishes to take away any guesswork as to when, where, and how to recycle your tree.
Only green trees can be recycled. Artificial, flocked or painted trees are not eligible for recycling. Before dropping off or putting your tree at the location of your regular garbage collection, make sure to strip off any lights, tinsel, garland, ornaments, tree stands, and plastic bags.
Each of the parishes besides Tangipahoa pick up trees at the location of your regular garbage collection. Check out the dates below or select one of the orange participating parishes for more detailed information or drop off sites.
CRCL partnered with St. Charles Parish in 1989 to begin the first program. It was so successful that 15 more coastal parishes joined the effort with funding from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR no longer funds the project, instead leaving it up to individual parishes to foot the bill.
The five aforementioned parishes have chosen to make room in their budgets to continue recycling Christmas Trees for coastal use because they have seen the positive effects.
The idea for using brush fences came from a Dutch Graduate Student, Roel Boumans. Brush fences are the main tool for using Christmas trees to help our coast. At its most basic, brush fences are built like a corral for the trees, which holds the trees in place allowing sediment in the water column to settle outbuilding and buffer the shoreline from waves.
This was an important turning point for connecting science and volunteerism. This was the first major effort to get the public involved in coastal restoration.
Provide a buffer to slow down waves
Keeps trees out of landfills.
Other Recycling Programs
If you do not live in one of the five above parishes that recycle trees for coastal protection, you may still be able to recycle your tree for a good purpose. At least 8 parishes run programs that keep trees out of landfills, usually mulching them for public projects. Contact your parish for program details.