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Making fertile soil from Christmas trees

Laura Sturza

As the holidays wind down, residents can put their Christmas trees

to work by recycling them -- offering a seasonal gift to the

environment and protection from a potential fire hazard.

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“If you bought a tree a week before Christmas, it’s too dry to be

near your house, and if you’ve stored it near your garage, fence or

car, that is just a pile of fuel looking for ignition,” Fire Capt.

Ron Bell said.

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In addition, the trees should not be burned in a fireplace. Boxes

and wrapping paper should also not be used in place of logs, Bell

said.

“Those pine needles are so dry that they go straight up the flue

and you’ll have sparks and ashes everywhere,” Bell said.

Instead, residents can leave trees in the parkway curb, or alley

where their trash is normally collected on the regular pickup day and

city sanitation trucks will haul away the trees.

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To prepare trees for recycling, people should remove tinsel and

ornaments, and dismantle the tree from stands and buckets. Flocked

trees cannot be composted. Residents with green waste containers are

asked to cut their trees to fit into the container.

Last year, more than 70 tons of Burbank Christmas trees were

composted through the city’s recycling program and used for compost

and mulch, officials said. For more information about recycling, call

238-3800.

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