Christmas Tree Recycling Returns to Five Coastal Parishes
“O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree. How lovely are thy branches” is the opening line to a well-known Christmas carol, but did you know that those same branches can help restore the coast?
Parishes throughout the Bayou State recycle Christmas trees to keep them out of landfills. Some collect them and turn them into mulch for city beautification projects, but five parishes – Jefferson, Orleans, St. John the Baptist, Tangipahoa, and Terrebonne – actually collect your live Christmas trees, haul them to collection points and, with the help of volunteers – and sometimes helicopters - place them in the marsh, where they help reduce coastal erosion.
Since the program began in the early 1990s 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. This information is all in one place at crcl.org.
This isn’t the first time CRCL has been involved in the Christmas Tree Recycling Program. In fact, CRCL partnered with St. Charles Parish back in 1989 to begin the 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. These five 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 trees help slow erosion, trap sediment, and provide a buffer to slow down waves while keeping them out of landfills.
“More Louisiana! I can’t think of a better gift,” said CRCL Executive Director Kim Reyher. “Your tree may have lost all its needles, but its branches can do a lot more than just hold ornaments. It can actually help slow land loss. That’s a great gift to give after the holidays.”
The process and dates for pickup vary from parish to parish. Most parishes will pick up your tree curbside for easy recycling, but often the window for curbside pickup is limited. You can find this information at crcl.org, but it’s important to note that most parishes won’t announce what dates they will collect the trees or where the projects will be deployed until later in December or early January. CRCL.org will always have the most up-to-date information available. So check back often.
Don’t let your tree take up space in a landfill when it could be helping to protect our coast. Visit crcl.org for more information on how your tree can help coastal Louisiana.