New Yorkers recycle Christmas trees into wood chip mulch


Source: Environment News Service (ENS)

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today fed branches from the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center into a chipper, converting them to mulch.

The officials crafted the occasion to announce the 12th annual MulchFest, a citywide event where New Yorkers can recycle their Christmas trees by converting them into wood chips.

This year, the Parks Department designated 85 recycling sites to accept trees throughout the five boroughs on Saturday and Sunday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.
At many of the tree drop-off locations, chippers will be on hand and residents will be able to take home free mulch for their own gardens and plants.

The Department of Sanitation also will be making curbside tree collections and transporting them to recycling sites from Thursday through Wednesday, January 16.

'MulchFest is another way New Yorkers can help make the city a greener and greater place. This event is a great partnership between city residents and city government and a fitting conclusion to a holiday season that has been greener than ever,' said Mayor Bloomberg.

'By recycling the trees we can't plant, we are helping the Million Trees NYC initiative by providing mulch to keep newly planted trees, parks and green spaces healthy and beautiful.'

Woodchip mulch moderates soil temperatures, helps retain soil moisture and deters weed growth while slowly adding nutrients to the soil. The mulch may be used to line street tree pits and flowerbeds in parks.

Woodchips may also be used in homes and gardens to enrich soil and control weeds.

'This will be the 12th year in a row that New Yorkers have helped the city stay green by bringing thousands of trees for chipping at Parks' annual MulchFest,' said Commissioner Benepe. 'By recycling their Christmas trees, New Yorkers support the environment by giving the city's plants natural nourishment from wood chips that help trees, flowers and shrubs grow.'

New Yorkers are encouraged to take neighbors' trees to designated sites, to team-up with others to collect and recycle as many trees as possible, and to bring along bags for the wood chips available at specified sites.

All lights, ornaments, and decorations must be removed from the trees before drop-off. Trees should not be placed in plastic bags.

Last year, nearly 160,000 Christmas trees were collected and recycled by the city, including 12,000 trees through MulchFest.

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