Christmas-tree recycling: What you need to know

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

VALLEYWIDE -- Every city and town in the metro Phoenix area has its own recycling plan and process. Here is what you need to know about disposal of your Christmas tree after the holidays.

Apache Junction is provides two free drop off points open 24 hours a day for drop off of trees outside from December 26, 2011 through January 15, 2012. Those sites are: Prospector Park, 3015 N. Idaho Rd. and Paws & Claws Care Center, 725 E. Baseline Ave. Remove all nails, stands, tinsel, lights and ornaments from trees. Flocked trees will not be accepted because the flocking does not break down in the environment. Please direct any questions about this program to the City of Apache Junction, Public Works Department at 480-982-1055 or check online. (2011/2012)

Residents of Avondale can recycle their live Christmas trees. Trees must be free of all decorations including lights, bulbs, ribbon and garland. This service is offered to Avondale residents at no charge. Proof of residency is required. Trees can be dropped off at A to Z Equipment, 803 E. Van Buren, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. December 26, 2011 through January 7, 2012 with the exception of Jan. 1 when this Service Center will be closed in observance of the New Year’s Day holiday and a modified 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. drop-off on New Year’s eve (Dec 31). Trees may also be left curbside for monthly bulk trash pick-up. For more information about Christmas tree recycling, call Avondale’s Field Operations Department at 623-333-4700 or check online. (2011/2012)

Buckeye will offer Christmas tree collection on Saturday, January 7 and Saturday, January 14, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days. Remove all tinsel, garland, ornaments, lights and stands. No artificial trees. Bring trees to one of the following locations: Fire Station 701, 404 South Miller Road, Buckeye, 85326 (Downtown); Fire Station 702, 1911 South Rainbow Road, Buckeye, 85326 (Sundance); Fire Station 703, 4106 North 195th Avenue, Buckeye, 85396 (Verrado); Fire Station 704, 26100 West Beardsley Road, Buckeye, 85396 (Festival Ranch); Fire Station 705, 30050 West Tartesso Parkway, Buckeye, 85396 (Tartesso). For more information call the Buckeye Public Works Department at 623-349-6805. (2011/2012)

City of Chandler residents can place their trees at the edge of their driveway before 6 a.m. on their recycling collection day (between 12/26/11 and 01/13/12) for curbside Christmas tree collection. Please do not block the sidewalk or place the tree in the blue recycling container. Don't place tree in the street or alley. Please do not place tree in refuse, recycle or alley container. Chandler also offers 10 drop-off points (December 26, 2011 thru January 13, 2012) for Christmas trees. For more information, call Chandler's Solid Waste Services at 480-782-3510. Live potted Christmas trees can be donated for replanting at City parks by dropping off at the City's Community Center or can be scheduled for pick up by calling 480-782-2745. (2011/2012)

The Town of Gilbert Gilbert has joined with A to Z Rentals and Santan Village Mall to offer free holiday recycling for cut trees, which will be turned into mulch and used for Town landscaping projects. Drop off cut trees between Dec. 26, 2011 and Jan. 7, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at A-Z Equipment Rentals, 1313 East Baseline Road. One tree per Gilbert resident household. On 12-31 their hours will be 9 a.m. to noon. No tree dropoffs here on January 1. Gilbert residents may also drop off trees from December 26, 2011 through January 14, 2012 at these locations: Nichols Park at the southwest corner of Higley and Guadalupe roads (park hours are 5:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.); Hetchler Park (Gilbert Soccer Complex) at the southwest corner of Germann and Greenfield roads. (park hours are 5:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.); Dicks Sporting Goods in Santan Village Mall, south of Dick’s Sporting Goods in the gravel area from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, call 480-503-6400 or visit Gilbert Public Works Recycling online. (2011/2012)

The City of Glendale, AZ Glendale residents are encouraged to recycle their Christmas trees by dropping them off at the following sites, which will be open from Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 to Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012: Acoma Park, 53rd Ave. and Acoma Rd.; Fire Station #156, 67th Ave. and Deer Valley Rd.; Foothills Park, 57th Ave. and Union Hills; O’Neil Park, 64th Ave. and Missouri Ave.; Rose Lane Park, 51st Ave. and Marlette Ave.; Sahuaro Ranch Park, 63rd Ave. and Mountain View Rd.; Western Area Regional Park, 83rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road. Trees must be unbagged, and all decorations, tree stands and metal stakes must be removed. Trees collected at the recycling stations will be used for composting and mulch. The City of Glendale Recycling Department reminds everyone that certain holiday items cannot be recycled. These items include ribbons, holiday lights, ornaments, garland, wrapping paper with silver or gold infused in with the paper, plastic bags, Styrofoam, toys, light bulbs and food. For more information, call 623-930-2660 or visit Glendale sanitation online. (2011/2012)

Residents of the City of Goodyear can get a “green” start on the New Year by dropping trees at one of five locations. Only bare trees can be recycled, so remove all lights, ornaments and tinsel. Trees are chipped and used for mulch and ground cover for a local farm. The following tree recycling drop-off locations are available 24 hours a day from December 26, 2011 through January 6, 2012: Foothills Community Park, 12795 S. Estrella Parkway next to the parking lot; PebbleCreek Eagle’s Nest Parking lot, 3645 N. Clubhouse Drive; Palm Valley Park, 13133 W. Monte Vista Drive on the north side of the park; Goodyear Ballpark, 1933 S. Ballpark Way, on the east side of Estrella Parkway just south of Yuma Road, in the northwest corner of the parking lot. Christmas trees may also be dropped for recycling at the Goodyear Public Works Yard, 200 S. Calle Del Pueblo between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. For more information visit Goodyear online or call 523-932-3010. (2011/2012)

The City of Mesa offers five drop-off points for Christmas trees which are open 24 hours from December 26, 2010 through January 6, 2011: East Mesa Service Center, 6935 E. Decatur St.; Solid Waste Management Department, 730 N. Mesa Drive; Superstition Springs Police/Fire Substation, 2430 S. Ellsworth Road; Mountain View Park, 845 N. Lindsay Road (enter off of Adobe St.); Dobson Ranch Park, 2363 S. Dobson Road. Collected trees are taken to the Salt River Landfill and chipped into nutrient rich mulch. Please remember to remove all nails, tree stands, lights and decorations. Snow flocked trees, wreaths and artificial trees cannot be recycled. Residents wishing to take their trees directly to the Salt River Landfill at Gilbert Road and the Beeline Highway can do so between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Mesa also accepts donations of live potted trees, which are planted in Mesa City parks. Live trees five feet or taller will be accepted at any Mesa Fire Station. Call Mesa's Solid Waste Management Department at 480-644-2688 or visit them online for more information. (2010/2011)

The City of Peoria provides centralized locations where residents can drop off their Christmas trees for recycling from Dec. 26, 2011 through Jan. 8, 2012. The drop-off locations are: Wal-Mart, 7975 W. Peoria Ave.; Home Depot, 9201 W. Peoria Ave.; Lowe's, 8497 W. Thunderbird Rd.; Lowe's, 25311 N. Lake Pleasant Rd. Before discarding, remove all decorations, hooks, tinsel, stand, and lights. Do not bag the tree. Peoria residents are not permitted to drop off trees at city parks or vacant lots, or place trees curbside. For additional information contact the Solid Waste Division at 623-773-7160. (2011/2012)

City of Phoenix residents can drop off a single tree at one of 14 city parks any time beginning December 26, 2011 through January 8, 2012. Trees should be placed in designated areas where special collection bins are located. Christmas tree drop-off locations: Deer Valley Park, Utopia Road and 19th Avenue; Paradise Valley Park, 40th Street, south of Union Hills Drive; Sereno Park, Sweetwater Avenue and 56th Street; Cactus Park, 3800 W. Cactus Road.; Mountain View Park, Peoria and Seventh avenues; Marivue Park, Osborn Road and 59th Avenue; Washington Park, Maryland and 23rd avenues; Madison Park, Glenrosa Avenue and 16th Street; Los Olivos Park, Devonshire Avenue and 28th Street; Desert West Park, Encanto Boulevard and 67th Avenue; El Reposo Park, Alta Vista Road and Seventh Street; Mountain Vista Park, 50th Street, north of Ray Road; Cesar Chavez Park, 35th Avenue and Baseline Road; Desert Foothills Park, Desert Foothills and Chandler Boulevard. Trees may be dropped off at A to Z Equipment Rental & Sales, 15634 N. 32nd St. or 4050 E. Indian School Road, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 26 to Jan. 7, except Dec. 31 where trees will be accepted 9 a.m. to noon. Closed on New Year’s Day. Trees also may be dropped off at the "I Recycle Phoenix Festival" from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, Seventh Avenue and Camelback Road. Before dropping off your tree, remove all decorations, tree stand, metal stakes and nails. Leave unbagged trees only at the specified parking lot site within the parks. Phoenix residents only. There will be signs indicating where to place your tree. Single trees only. For more information, call 602-262-7251. (2011/2012)

The City of Scottsdale hold its annual citywide holiday tree roundup on Monday, January 23, 2012 through Friday January 27, 2012. If you have residential collection service place your tree out where you would normally place your brush by 5 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 23. Remove stands, lights and ornaments. No artificial trees will be collected. If you miss the tree roundup, or do not have residential collection services, you can drop off your tree between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at either Scottsdale Ranch Park, 10400 E. Via Linda, or Eldorado Park, 2311 N. Miller Road. All trees collected will be turned into compost or mulch. For more information, call (480) 312-5600. (2011/2012)

The City of Surprise offers a Christmas Tree Drop-Off from December 26, 2011 through January 15, 2012. Please remove all decorations and place trees in designated areas only. Limit two trees per household. Gaines Park (15837 N. Nash Street at north end of the parking lot); Surprise Recreation Complex (15795 N. Parkview Place across from Valley Vista High School); Surprise Farms Softball Park, 17894 Westpark Blvd (parking lot on corner of N Willow Canyon Rd & W. Surprise Farms Dr. South). Here are the details about the Surprise Christmas Tree Recycling Program. (2011/2012)

City of Tempe residents can dispose of their Christmas trees by dropping them off at one of the city's drop-off sites. Trees can be dropped off 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Household Products Collection Center, 1320 E. University Drive, or the west side of Kiwanis Park Recreation Center. Both sites will accept trees through January 22, 2012. Remove tree stands and nails, ornaments, lights, garland, and tinsel. Residents should not place Christmas trees in garbage containers. Residents may place Christmas trees out for collection during their scheduled week for uncontained/bulky item collection. Do not place your Christmas tree out for collection more than 10 days before the Monday of your collection week. For more information call 480-350-8265 or visit Tempe online. (2011/2012)

If you city is not mentioned here, look for the phone number that handles solid waste collection or recycling, and they will be able to tell you how to properly dispose of your Christmas tree.