Friday, January 14, 2011

How it Works: Christmas Tree Recycling Program

The City's Christmas Tree pick-up is still going full-bore and Calgarians will be please to know that come Spring, they'll be able to reuse their trees in their gardens . . . as mulch.

“We start planning about three or four months in advance,” says Lindsay Lofthouse, waste diversion specialist with The City. “Once the program starts, we’re in constant communication with our collectors and foremen to make sure things are going smoothly and trees aren’t being missed.”

Waste & Recycling Services employees began picking up Christmas trees from designated depots on Dec. 27 and residences on Jan. 8. Some employees are dedicated to the task during the program, while others take on weekend shifts to make sure all trees are collected.

“Our collectors and foremen adjust their schedules to accommodate the pick-ups,” says Lindsay. “I think residents really appreciate the extra time put toward picking up door-to-door.”

After the trees are collected, they’re dropped off at one of Calgary’s three landfills and stockpiled until the end of the program. At the end of the January, the trees are mulched and the recycling begins.

“The mulch is used in parks, green spaces, and throughout the landfills,” says Lindsay.

Residents can also pick up mulch at the East Calgary Landfill for gardening and landscaping free of charge.

You still have until Jan. 18 to drop your tree off at a designated depot. To find a Christmas tree depot near you, visit

Last year, The City’s annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program collected 33,000 trees.

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