Christmas tree recycling Jan. 2-6 |

Christmas tree recycling Jan. 2-6

by Susie Vasquez

Douglas County residents will be able to recycle Christmas trees Jan. 2-6, in Carson Valley by simply dropping them next to their trash cans on normal garbage pickup day.

It’s an inexpensive and environmentally sound practice that provides erosion control and conserves water. The program reduces bulk in landfills and it doesn’t cost the county a lot of money, said Craig Burnside, superintendent for Douglas County’s Parks & Recreation.

“We’ve invested a fair amount in the chipper, but it’s not a significant cost operationally,” Burnside said. “We’d be paying the staff anyway.”

Recycling trees might even be used to support the large mouth bass population at Topaz Lake. When left unchipped, the trees can provide structure for nesting, protecting the eggs and the young fingerlings, Burnside said.

“After chipping last year, we were contacted by a volunteer arm of the Nevada Department of Wildlife,” he said. “They wanted the Christmas trees for large mouth bass habitat. I’m going to try to contact them, to see if they’re doing anything like that this year.”

Douglas County chips about 3,000 trees a year, the bulk of the product taken to Lake Tahoe where it is used for erosion control.

The number has remained constant despite the county’s growth, Burnside said.

To recycle that sagging tree:

Place it next to the trash can on normal pickup day, making sure the tree is cut into 6-foot lengths or less. Those without trash pickup can leave trees at a neighbors’ can.

In Carson Valley, the trees can also be dropped off at Lampe Park, Johnson Lane Park, Topaz Ranch Estates Park, Ranchos Aspen Park and the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Flocked trees cannot be recycled because they gum up the chipper. Tinsel, lights, nails and stands should be removed for workers’ safety.

The service is a cooperative effort between the Douglas County Parks & Recreation Department and South Tahoe Refuse.

For more information, call Douglas County Parks & Recreation, 782-9835.

Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.