Those sad, shriveled Christmas trees heaped in piles by the roadside will actually help keep Carson Valley green next year.
That's because the Bently Ranch in Minden is working with Douglas County Parks and Recreation to recycle the trees.
"We'll compost them and use them on our agricultural fields," Jim Usher, Bently Ranch manager, said Wednesday. "We've been doing this for at least 10 years through the Bently Agrowdynamics site, but this is the first year we're doing it in conjunction with the county."
In previous years, Douglas County collected trees, chipped them, and used the mulch in public parks.
With the exception of Johnson Lane Park, former drop-off sites for the county will remain the same this year, including Lampe Park in Gardnerville, Aspen Park in the Gardnerville Ranchos, and the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Trees can be dropped off until Jan. 6.
"There will be a drop-off at the end of Orbit Way in Minden, and people can also take trees directly to our facility off Stockyard Road," Usher said. "Normally, for wood waste, we have a small collecting fee. But we'll be taking Christmas trees for free until this is finished and we go clean up the sites."
The Bently Ranch is working with the county pro bono, Usher said.
"Don Bently liked to do something for the community for Christmas," he said. "Chris Bently is now continuing that."
The only thing the company asks, Usher said, is that the trees be ready for processing - free of tinsel, ornaments, lights, stands, and other decorations.
"I've seen ones with lights still on them," he said. "We're just doing Christmas trees. We don't want someone to take junipers out of their yard and call it recycling."