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Christmas tree disposal and reuse

After Christmas, some live trees go on to be used for marsh restoration or are turned into mulch, but the trees left curbside in Picayune go to the landfill. But, live trees can still be recycled at home.

Picayune residents will be able to dispose of their live Christmas trees through curbside pickup on regular pickup days, said Coastal Environmental Services Operations Manager Kevin Kingston. Collection of trees will begin the first full week in January.

Live Christmas trees should be watered daily while in use. Dry trees should be discarded quickly, because they can catch fire easily, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

To ensure that everyday trash is picked during the influx of trees, sometimes trees are picked up on the second collection day in the week, Kingston said. Waste collected in the city of Picayune is disposed of in the Central Landfill in Millard, said Public Works Director Eric Morris.

Coastal Environmental Services participates in a tree recycling program for the cities it provides collection services to in St. Tammany Parish, Kingston said, but he is not aware of any tree recycling programs in Pearl River County. That recycling program uses trees for marsh restoration, Kingston said.

Harrison County recycles Christmas trees by turning them into mulch and wood chips for county parks and gardens, according to the Keep Harrison County Beautiful website.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, live Christmas trees can be recycled at home by placing them in a private pond for fish to use as a feeding area, using the tree as a temporary bird feeder in a backyard, or turning the tree into mulch for a garden. For any of these uses, garland, tinsel, hooks and decorations first need to be removed.

A plastic tree bag can help prevent a mess when disposing of a tree. Pine needles are easier to sweep up than vacuum, the association site states.

This story has been updated with more recent information on curbside pickups and additional information on tree recycling programs.