Now that Christmas has come and gone, Calgarians are packing away their festive holiday decorations and removing the ornaments from their Christmas trees.
And if you’re wondering what the most environmentally friendly way to get get rid of your Christmas tree is, it really depends if it’s real or fake.
If it’s fake, you can easily box it up and put it away for next year, but if it’s real, the City of Calgary makes it easy for residents to dispose of their Christmas trees.
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According to the city, there are a handful of temporary drop-off locations where you can leave your tree for the city to take care of, though you’ll need to drop it off before February 2.
Here are the locations:
- Auburn Bay Off-Leash Area – 52nd St and Auburn Bay Dr S.E.
- Bottomlands Park – St. George’s Drive N.E. (soccer field parking lot)
- Bowness – 7937 43 Ave N.W. (in lot behind building)
- Braeside Park – 256 Brookpark Drive S.W.
- Confederation Park – 905 30 Ave N.W. (east parking lot)
- Huntington Hills Athletic Park – 7920 4th St. at Huntstrom Dr. N.E.
- IKEA – 8000 11 Street S.E. (northwest corner of parking lot behind store)
- Marda Loop Communities Association – 3130 16th Street S.W.
- North Glenmore Park – 6615 37 Street S.W. (Weaselhead parking lot)
- Park 96 – 14660 Parkland Blvd S.E.
- Pop Davies/ Ogden Athletic Park – Ogden Rd & Millican Rd SE
- Prairie Winds Park – 44 St. and 54 Ave N.E. (south parking lot)
- Sacramento Parks Depot – 10400 Sacramento Drive S.W.
City landfills will also be accepting dropped off Christmas trees free of charge until February 2, though any time later and you’ll have to pay the landfill’s going rate for green waste.
Before you bring your tree to a drop-off location, you must make sure it’s free from the following:
- Tree bags
- Tree skirts
Trees should also be clear of snow and ice and be easily accessible for collection.
Trees can also be cut up and put into your regular green waste bin and collected that way, though you need to make sure to cut it into small enough pieced to fit into the cart — with the lid closed!
If you’re looking to save yourself the hassle of getting rid of the tree, Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario note that there are still a number of other environmentally friendly ways to recycle your tree. This includes:
- Placing the tree in the garden or backyard to provide winter shelter for small birds.
- A Christmas tree is biodegradable. Its branches and needles make a good mulch in the garden, especially for plants like rhododendrons which like acid soil.
- Fir tree foliage can be stripped from the branches and snipped into small pieces for stuffing into aromatic fir needle pillows for the sofa or bedroom.
- Large quantities of used trees can be used as effective sand and soil erosion barriers, especially at beaches.
- Old Christmas trees stacked together in a forest can provide shelter for rabbits and other small animals.
- Sunk into fish ponds, Christmas trees can make refuge and feeding areas for fish and other animals.
- Woodworking hobbyists can make a multitude of items from the trunk of a used Christmas tree including buttons, gavels, and candle-holders.
– With files from Ainsley Smith