A few simple ways to recycle Christmas trees

Waste Management offers tree pickup; city will accept trees dropped off; waste collection schedule unchanged during holidays.The Christmas tree is the symbol of the holiday season for many people, and it can have a useful life once the ornaments are packed away.

Waste Management is offering the opportunity to recycle trees after the holiday season at no extra charge.

Customers with curbside service can recycle their Christmas trees for free by placing the trees at the curb or in their green-waste carts on their scheduled pick-up day.

Trees will be picked up for recycling during the two weeks following Christmas, beginning Dec. 26. All decorations, including ornaments, tinsel, lights and the tree stand must be removed.

The City of Laguna Beach and Waste Management are sponsoring a drop-off Christmas tree recycling program for residents from Dec. 26, through Jan. 8. Laguna Beach residents may take their trees to the Laguna Beach City Hall employees' parking lot, located at the intersection of Laguna Canyon Road and Forest Avenue.

Trees collected in the curbside program will be mulched for reuse as alternative daily cover, which is the cover material placed on the active face of a landfill at the end of each day to protect against fires, odors, blowing litter and scavenging.

Flocked trees cannot be recycled, but will be collected if they are placed at the curb. Trees more than six feel tall must be cut in half.

During this period, bulky item collection -- the scheduled retrieval of items such as furniture or appliances -- will be suspended in order to devote resources to Christmas tree collection. Regular bulky item service will resume on Friday, Jan. 13.

Because Christmas and New Year's Day both fall on Sundays, Waste Management's waste and recycling pick-up schedules will be unchanged during the holidays. This means there will be no delays in service for Waste Management of Orange County customers.

While service schedules remain the same during the holidays, the company's customer service center will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26, and Monday, Jan. 2. During these two weeks, the customer service center is open Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Customer service: (949) 642-1191.

Information: www.wm.com.

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