Thursday, February 11, 2010

Christmas Tree Recycling a "huge success"

The City’s first door-to-door Christmas Tree Recycling program was a “huge success” according to a The City’s Waste Diversion Specialist.

“We achieved all our program goals,” said Lindsay Lofthouse. “More trees were collected and recycled, we improved customer service and it was safer for employees in terms of picking up individual trees instead of (going through) piles of tangled trees at depots.”

A total of 33,300 trees were collected, which was an 11 per cent increase or 3,330 trees compared to last year. According to estimates from Christmas tree retailers and a survey conducted prior to the program, indications are that a majority of trees sold over the holidays have now been collected.

There were a few bumps for the inaugural pickup, said Lofthouse, and this resulted in some neighbourhoods getting later collection than planned.

“Our experiences with the first year of Christmas tree collection will allow us to optimize our pick up service for next year,” she said.

Although residential collection of Christmas trees has ended, the three City landfills will continue to accept Christmas trees for mulching at no charge to residents. Trees that are set out for collection now will be picked up through regular garbage collection to keep our communities clean. The City is tracking the number of trees that are collected at the program’s completion for further evaluation.

Based on the success of the program, Waste & Recycling Services department will be offering Christmas Tree collection service in 2011.

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