Inflation is impacting the price of almost everything this year — including Christmas trees — and local residents are urged to make the most of their holiday investment by recycling their tree instead of tossing it in the trash.
Nearly 21 million live trees are expected to be sold nationwide in 2022, a signal that rising costs haven’t deterred festive consumers from adorning their homes with the real thing.
When the holidays are over, recycling Christmas trees is a gift to the community that will keep on giving. And it’s easy. The Southern Nevada Christmas Tree Recycling Committee, a partnership of local businesses and community agencies, manages more than 30 convenient drop-off locations throughout Southern Nevada.
The program runs from Dec. 26 through Jan. 15, and recycled trees will be chipped into mulch and used in public gardens and parks across the community. Mulch from trees also conserves soil moisture and helps with dust control, reducing water waste.
“When we recycle trees, we’re diverting waste from landfills, conserving water, and beautifying our local communities,” said Tara Pike, UNLV sustainability coordinator and member of the Christmas Tree Recycling Committee.
In 2021, 17,822 trees were recycled, the third-most ever for the local program. The recycled trees created more than 145 tons of nutrient-rich mulch, and local landfill volume was spared the equivalent of around 10 school buses (2,376 cubic yards). Since the community program began in 2001, almost 300,000 trees — an astonishing 2,400 tons — have been recycled.
And for those considering a fake tree this year, you may be surprised to learn that purchasing a real tree is actually better for the environment if you recycle it.
“Real trees, when recycled, are more environmentally friendly,” said Pike. “As they grow, they absorb carbon dioxide and put out oxygen. They’re also grown domestically, which supports small and family-owned businesses. There’s really no comparison, unless you plan to keep a fake tree for at least 15 years.”
The Southern Nevada Christmas Tree Recycling Committee is a partnership of local businesses and community agencies, including UNLV’s Rebel Recycling program and the Springs Preserve.
Cut Christmas trees may be dropped off at more than 30 Clark County locations. Visit the Springs Preserve website to find the closest drop-off location.
Mulch from cut trees will also be available for free to community members at several valley locations:
- Pecos Legacy Park, Acacia Park, Capriola Park and Discovery Park from Dec. 28 to Jan. 19. Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Bring your own shovels and containers.)
- University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will have mulch available for pickup at its North Las Vegas Research Center and Demonstration Orchard (4600 Horse Dr., NLV 89131) from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; and at its Lifelong Learning Center (8050 Paradise Rd., LV 89123) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
How to prepare your tree for recycling
- Remove all non-organic materials such as lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, tree stands and any other materials that are not part of the tree.
- Flocked (sprayed with artificial snow) trees cannot be recycled.
Residents unable to drop their tree at one of the Southern Nevada sites can contact the local company Move It, and for $25 they’ll pick up and recycle your tree. Visit gomoveit.com or download the app to learn more, and use the code “Tree25” to secure the discounted rate.
For more information, contact Tara Pike at (702) 895-3760 or email@example.com.