The National Christmas Tree Association says the best way to avoid a big mess when you remove your tree, is to put a plastic bag under the stand when you set up the tree. Hide the bag with the tree skirt, then it’s easy to pull the bag up around the tree when it’s time to carry it outside. They also say it’s better to sweep up fallen needles, because they can clog vacuum cleaners.
If you’re thinking of recycling the tree at home, you could consider putting it in the garden or back yard to use as a bird feeder and sanctuary. Put fresh orange slices or strung popcorn on the tree to attract birds. When the tree is dried out, you could chip it and use it as mulch in the garden.
In all cases, be sure you first remove all decorations, hooks, garland and tinsel from the tree. Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove.
Several communities offer help disposing of live or natural Christmas trees after the holiday.
Bettendorf: Christmas tree collection is scheduled for residents’ regular trash collection day between December 26 and January 10. Trees should be left at your regular collection site by 7 a.m. on your regular trash day. All ornaments, plastic wrap and tree stands must be removed. No sticker required. Get more information about what other holiday items can be recycled at www.wastecom.com.
Clinton: Free recycling for real/natural Christmas trees from Thursday, December 26 through Saturday, January 11 at Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency, 4292 220th Street in Clinton. Hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Get more information on this and other holiday-related recycling at http://www.ccaswa.com/.
Clinton: The city will pick up live trees clear of stands, decorations, tinsel and bags between January 13 to 17, 2014. Place trees in the same area where your trash/recycling is collected.
Davenport: Residents can set their real or live trees on the curb for collection on their regular collection day through Friday, January 17, 2014; they can also be brought to the Compost Facility. Trees must be free of all decorations, not attached to a tree stand, and cannot be wrapped in plastic.
Galesburg: The city has partnered with Waste Management and Lowe’s to sponsor a drop-off site for residential Christmas trees from now through January 3. Remove plastic bags, tree stands, lights and ornaments. Flocked trees, wreaths, artificial trees and tinsel cannot be accepted. Trees can be dropped off in the parking lot of the Galesburg Lowe’s store at 531 W Carl Sandburg Dr. Fore more information call (309) 345-3619.
Moline: Christmas trees will be collected when placed with regular garbage between January 1 and January 11, 2014. Allow three feet of space between the discarded tree and your regular garbage cart. More info on the city’s website – click here.
Rock Island: The city will offer free Christmas tree collection on normal garbage pickup dates between December 30 and January 10. Trees should be clear of all ornaments, lights and stands, and should be placed at least three feet away from garbage carts.