Local News

Durham Officials Urge Patience In Christmas Tree Recycling

Posted January 4, 2006 3:56 a.m. EST

— Now that the holiday season is over, many Durham residents are placing their Christams trees on the curb for removal and recycling by the City of Durham. During the first two days of offering this free service to all Durham residents, more than 4,500 trees have been removed from Durham's curbsides. Now the department is urging residents to be patient as they continue to work to remove holiday trees from the City's curbs.

"A large majority of our residents and many of our businesses have trees on the curb for pickup and we are working as efficiently and safely as possible to remove those trees," said interim director for Durham's Department of Solid Waste Management Tom Ayers. "Since this service is open to everyone in the city, not just our yard waste customers, we have increased our collection points by more than two times the normal number. We are asking our customers to be patient and to rest assured that we will collect their trees as soon as possible."

According to Ayers, removing the trees is a high priority for the department, and workers are working extended hours and days for the next week to recycle the trees.

"While we're extremely busy now, this service ultimately benefits our community because it encourages necessary recycling and turns these trees into a usable mulch product for Durham residents," he said.

The disposal of Christmas trees will continue through Jan. 31. The Department of Solid Waste Management is asking that trees be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on residents' normal household collection day. The department also wants to remind motorists to be aware of collection crews working in neighborhoods and other high-traffic areas.

Residents are also advised to follow guidelines in readying the trees for removal, such as cutting trees taller than 6 feet in half and removing all decorations, stands and hardware. Durham officials also ask that trees not be placed in bags. Trees that have been completely sprayed with fake snow will not be recycled, but will be removed for disposal.

Trees may also be dropped off at the City's Waste Disposal & Recycling Center at 2115 East Club Boulevard, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., at no charge until January 31. Trees delivered after that date will be subject to the usual disposal fees.