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Recycle Your Christmas Tree...and Other Green Post-Holiday Tips

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Photo by current events via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by current events via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
You'll notice an absence of Christmas carols and pop tunes on the radio, you may have already sorted your gifts into keep, return, and re-gift piles, and right about now a turkey sandwich sounds really good. So when is it time to take down the tree?

The custom of taking the tree down is as varied as the custom of putting it up. Those who jumped on it Thanksgiving weekend might find their tree is drying up and ready to go this week, while others among us might want to hold on to the tree until we take the day off for Martin Luther King Jr's birthday. No matter your plans, you can recycle your tree between December 26, 2009 and January 16, 2010 "by placing them at curbside on their regular collection day or taking them to a collection site," notes an LA County press release email.

Some notes about getting the tree ready to go:

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To enjoy the benefits of this special holiday recycling service, residents must remove all ornaments including tinsel, decorations, and metal and plastic tree stands from their trees before placing them at curbside or turning them in at a collection site. Trees over six feet tall should be cut in half for easier collection. Residents who miss the curbside recycling dates can cut their trees into smaller pieces and place them in their green waste container. The trees collected by residential waste haulers will be recycled into compost, mulch, or ground cover. This helps preserve our natural resources and reduce waste too.

Other tips for greening the holidays you can cull from for post-Christmas recycling and waste-reduction help are available via the County's website. Ideas we love: Compost your food waste; saving your holiday greeting cards to use next year as place cards or tree/gift decorations; use leftover gift wrap to line shelves and dresser drawers (or save for next year's craft projects or wrapping); and do something "green" for your New Year's resolution, such as using reusable cloth shopping bags, switching to compact fluorescent lights to save energy, planting a tree, etc.