Here’s how you can ‘tree-cycle’ your Christmas tree this year across Queens

A tree is chipped during the 2015 Mulchfest at Jackson Heights' Travers Park.
File photo QNS

Now that Christmas is over, what are you going to do with your Christmas tree?

The NYC Parks Department and the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) are offering two ways to “tree-cycle” your Christmas trees: the DSNY’s annual Christmas tree curbside collection program, and the Parks Department’s annual Mulchfest event.

Between Jan. 3, 2017, and Jan. 14 (weather permitting), DSNY will be collecting clean, non-bagged Christmas trees left on the curb, which will be chipped, mixed with leaves, and recycled into rich compost for the city’s parks, institutions and community gardens.

DSNY advises residents to remove all stands, tinsel, lights and ornaments before putting trees out for collection.

Since after Christmas 2015, DSNY has collected more than 214,000 Christmas trees for their “tree-cycling” program.

“Recycling gives Christmas trees a life way past Christmas,” said DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “The tree in our homes today will be turned into compost to give life to plants in our city’s parks and community gardens. We thank all residents for taking part in the program.”

If you want to take a piece of your recycled Christmas tree home with you, the Parks Department will be holding their annual Mulchfest event where residents can bring their trees to nearly 80 locations across the city to be chipped and turned into mulch — a bag of which participants can take home with them.

MulchFest will be held on Jan. 7, 2017, and Jan. 8, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those not able to attend MulchFest can use NYC Parks’ drop-off sites, which are accepting trees beginning Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, through Jan. 8, 2017.

“MulchFest is one of the many annual events that I look forward to because it’s such an easy way to show our commitment to caring for parks across the city,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. “By repurposing Christmas trees we provide plenty of mulch which serves to reinvigorate New York City’s urban forest. I’d like to thank the Department of Sanitation, GreeNYC, our sponsors, and of course the responsible community members who help support our mission to maintain sustainable parks and public spaces throughout the five boroughs.”

The drop-off locations throughout Queens include the following:

  • Astoria Park at 19th Street and Hoyt Avenue;
  • Captain Mario Fajardo Playground at Kissena Boulevard at Booth Memorial Avenue;
  • Cunningham Park at 196th Place and Union Turnpike;
  • Forest Park at Forest Park Drive and Woodhaven Boulevard;
  • Hunter’s Point South Park at LIC Landing Events Space at 51st Avenue and Center Boulevard; and
  • Juniper Valley Park at 80th Street between Juniper Boulevards North and South.

For a full list of Mulchfest chipping and drop-off sites across Queens and the other boroughs, visit www.nyc.gov/parks and search “Mulchfest.” For more information on DSNY Christmas tree collection program visit www.nyc.gov/dsny, or call 311.

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