By GRACE GADDY
PALESTINE — The leftover turkey is foil-wrapped in the fridge, the bearded Santa sweaters have been pushed back in the drawer — way back — and any jingle bells that were jingling have ceased.
Christmas is over, which means a whole crew of festive trees no longer have a living room or office to call home. Sad as it may seem, they must go. They must. So what are the good people of Anderson County ever to do?
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, recycle.
Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes.
Public Works Director Tim Perry said the city provides two options, though not necessarily for recycling.
“You can put them where your normal garbage pickup is,” Perry said, adding that individuals will take them from the transfer station and carry them away to be ground up into wood chips.
Or, residents can take trees to the city's compost site, located across the street from the old AAA Restaurant on U.S. 287/Texas 19 North.
The compost site will be closed for Christmas and New Year's Day but is otherwise open to the public free of charge Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All lights, ornaments, garland and tinsel should be removed from the Christmas tree before dropping it off.
Holiday closings will affect normal recycling and trash pick-up for both this week and New Year’s week, so if your normal garbage pickup day is a Thursday, your day will be moved to Friday, and if your normal pickup day is a Friday, your pick up day will be Saturday. Normal recycling and bulk pick-up will be on Thursday.
Other tree recycling options include the following, according to information from the National Christmas Tree Association
:• Fish feeders: Sunk into private fish ponds, trees make an excellent refuge and feeding area for fish.
• Bird feeders: A Christmas tree in the backyard or garden can transform into an instant bird feeder and sanctuary. Fresh orange slices or strung popcorn will attract birds, and they can sit in the branches for shelter. Within a year, the branches will become brittle and the tree can be broken apart by hand or chipped in a chipper.
• Paths for hiking trails: Shredded trees can serve as free, renewable natural path material that fits both the environment and the needs of hikers.
• Living, rooted trees: A rooted (ball and burlap or containerized) tree can be planted in the yard after Christmas. Living trees have a better survival rate in mild climates.