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Without the lights, decorations and wonderful evergreen scent, the real Christmas tree you just took outside is just an image of what it was last week.
But if you want to give it new life, take it to one of Lancaster County's convenience sites.
It's called treecycling and the county public works department is teaming up with its counterparts at the city of Lancaster to cut down on holiday waste.
"Recycling is a pattern of habit than anything else," said Darin Robinson, county public works director.
Instead of having Christmas trees take up landfill space, the county is removing them from the waste stream so they can be ground into wood chips, mulch and compost.
"I know we see a good bit of them," Robinson said.
Robinson said public works employees started making the rounds Wednesday to pick up the discarded trees at the 12 convenience sites.
"It will really pick up starting next week," Robinson said.
The trees are taken to the McGill convenience site at 3101 Kershaw Country Club Road and recycled.
The mulch, in turn, will be made available there to the public for free on a first-come, first-serve basis, once it dries out.
Robinson said that trees, along with other yard debris, are ground at McGill since DHEC has licensed it as a land clearing and compost site.
"We collect a lot of yard debris year-round and to be honest, we've never had that much of a response for mulch," Robinson said. "It's there and it's free, but most people don't want it because you have to load it by hand. Right now, we're trying to find a vendor who would be willing to take it."
Jerry Crockett, public works director for the city of Lancaster, said city residents should put their Christmas trees by the curb in front of their home to be picked up, just like regular yard debris.
"We'll get them to the county and they will do the rest," Crockett said.
Take your trees here
If you would like your fresh Christmas tree recycled, take it to one of the following convenience sites during regular site hours.
•Indian Land - 401 Jim Wilson Road
•Race Track - 273 Shiloh Unity Road
•Unity - 2511 Shiloh Unity Road
•Erwin Farm - 3122 Bethel Road
•Lynwood Drive - 1349 Lynwood Drive
•Heath Springs - 173 Solar Road
• Kershaw - 6491 Old Lancaster Highway
•Midway - 4125 Payne Road
•Rich Hill - 4202 Joshua Tree Drive
•Tradesville - 2149 Old Camden Monroe Highway
•McGill - 3101 Kershaw Country Club Road
•Fort – 5330 J.B. Denton Road
Contact Greg Summers at 283-1156 or email@example.com