Help children's programs while recycling Christmas tree

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Now that the holiday season has come and gone, it's time to get rid of those Christmas trees.

The longer you wait, the greater chance they can catch fire.

Luckily the city has several locations across town where you can drop them off.

And at one Oro Valley location you can also help out a good cause.

Among a pile of evergreens in an Oro Valley park, some sparkling tinsel is all that's left of Christmas. It is one of nine locations across the old pueblo where people can recycle their Christmas trees.

"We've been doing this Christmas tree lot for about 15 years," said John Houserman.

John Houserman is a member of the Oro Valley Kiwanis Club.  Every year, club members help collect the trees at the site off Naranja Drive, while raising money for various children's programs.

"We like to meet a lot of people. It's amazing how generous the Arizona people are," Houserman said.

The lot gets especially busy this week as the holidays wind down and trees dry up.

"If you're able to take section of your tree and essentially just pull off these dry needles, this is nothing but a tinder box waiting to start a fire in your home," said Capt. Adam Goldberg.

Northwest Fire Captain Adam Goldberg says you should recycle your tree by the end of the week.

"We don't want people to throw their trees in the desert, it's just going to become material for a fire later," said Capt. Goldberg.  "We certainly don't want them put up against the side of the house because in the event that there's a fire, it's going to have an ignition source.  It's going to spread up into the eves of the attic."

After the tree is dropped off, the city will grind them up into wood chips which people can use for their gardens.

Helping the environment and children in need, it's one last gift you can give as the holiday season comes to a close.