Cities Seek Chips Off Old Christmas Trees : Recycling: Over the next week, officials hope to collect and grind up at least 45,000 pines for such uses as composting.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Christmas is over. New Year's Day is done. Now starts the post-holiday Christmas tree recycling rush.

Over the next week, recycling coordinators at cities countywide hope to collect at least half of the estimated 90,000 trees sold in Ventura County over the holidays.

The trees will be ground into bits and used partly for landscaping, composting and other environmentally oriented practices.

"It just gives us more uses for a Christmas tree," said Eric Werbalowsky, recycling coordinator for the city of Ventura. "And it extends the life of our landfills."

Added Trish Robbins, a clerk for the city of Camarillo: "We're just trying to put things we took back into the earth."

Last year, officials estimated that half of the 90,000 trees purchased in the county were recycled during the first collection program. The program was so successful, organizers said, that they decided to make it a Yuletide tradition.

This year, curbside tree-pickups are available in Oxnard, the Channel Islands Beach area, Ojai, Moorpark, Point Mugu and Port Hueneme.

But there will be no curbside pickups in Camarillo, Fillmore, Thousand Oaks and Ventura. Residents are being urged to take their trees to special bins in these cities.

Jim Harrison, vice president of E.J. Harrison & Sons rubbish company, said he is expecting the Christmas tree recycling rush to start today.

"So far it has been somewhat quiet," Harrison said. "But we expect it to really pick up."

On the east side of the county, haulers are taking the trees that they collect to the Simi Valley Landfill, where the evergreens are being chopped into chips. And on the west side, the California Wood Recycling company is donating its services to grind up the trees.

Half of the chips will then be sold as fuel to power companies in Northern California, and the rest will be given to residents for composting, landscaping and other uses, said Richard Helland, operation manager of the wood-recycling company.

So far, he said, about 5,000 trees have been chopped up and bulldozed into large piles.

From Jan. 20 through Feb. 2, residents can pick up bags of the wood chips at the Ojai Anti-litter Station, Old Baldwin Road, off California 150 in Ojai; Agromin Horticultural Soils, 1501 S. Las Posas Road, Camarillo, and the Worm Concern, 1450 Tierra Rejada Road, Simi Valley.

In the meantime, residents are encouraged to recycle their Christmas trees at the following sites:

* Camarillo: City Hall, 601 Carmen Drive, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* Channel Islands Beach Community Services District: Curbside collection daily until Thursday. Or drop trees off at the district office, 353 Santa Monica Drive, Jan. 10 to Jan. 19.

* Fillmore: Drop off at the southwest corner of Mountain View and Main streets daily through next Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

* Moorpark: Curbside collection in the Moorpark College and downtown neighborhoods, daily through Jan. 10.

* Ojai: Curbside collection for Rubbish Control Customers, daily through next Friday. Drop-off from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to Jan. 12 at the Anti-litter Station.

* Oxnard: Curbside collection citywide, daily through next Friday. Drop-off daily through Jan. 11 at the Bailard Landfill, 4105 W. Gonzales Road.

* Point Mugu, Pacific Missile Test Center: Curbside collection Jan. 9. Includes Camarillo and base housing.

* Port Hueneme: Curbside collection citywide through Thursday.

* Santa Paula: Curbside collection citywide, daily through Thursday.

* Simi Valley: Curbside collection citywide, daily through next Friday. Drop off daily at the Simi Valley Landfill, 2801 Madera Road.

* Thousand Oaks: Drop-off citywide, daily through Wednesday. Locations include Municipal Service Center, 1851 De Havilland Drive; Thousand Oaks Community Center, 2525 Moorpark Road; Borchard Park Service Center, 250 Reino Road; Cal Lutheran University, 60 W. Olsen Road; Triunfo Community Park, 980 Aranmoor Ave.; Oakbrook Service Yard, Avenida de las Flores and Erbes Road, and the Park-and-Ride lot, Rancho Road and the Ventura Freeway.

* Ventura: Drop-off daily through Wednesday at Fritz Huntsinger Youth Sports Complex, Saticoy Avenue and Telephone Road; Camino Real Park, Dean Drive and Varsity Street; Marina Park, Pierpont Boulevard and Greenock Lane, and Harry Lyon Park, De Anza Drive and Cameron Street. Residents can also take their trees directly to California Wood Recycling, 3450 Ventura Road in Ventura.

For the Record Los Angeles Times Saturday January 4, 1992 Ventura County Edition Metro Part B Page 7 Column 1 Zones Desk 1 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction Tree recycling--An article Friday incorrectly reported the last day on which residents of Thousand Oaks can drop off Christmas trees at city recycling sites. The last day is Sunday.
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