By Bill Parry
Now that the holidays are over the city is asking residents to “tree-cycle” their used Christmas trees.
The city Department of Sanitation will continue its curbside collection through Friday, Jan. 15, provided all tree stands, tinsel, ornaments and lights have been removed. Clean, non-bagged Christmas trees will be collected, chipped, mixed with leaves, and recycled into rich compost for the city’s parks, institutions and community gardens.
“Recycling gives Christmas trees new life,” DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said. “The tree in our homes now will be chipped and reused as mulch in parks and community gardens throughout the city and enjoyed for the months to come.”
Sanitation collected more than 214,000 Christmas trees last year. The city Parks Department provides two options for tree-cycling. The 20th annual MulchFest event will be held this Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at several locations around the borough. Residents can drop off their clean and non-bagged trees for mulching and receive their own bag of mulch for use in yards and gardens.
“There are countless ways we can care for our parks, and MulchFest is one of the simplest and most fun,” Parks Commissioner Mitchell L. Silver said. “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. By repurposing Christmas trees we provide plenty of mulch, which serves to reinvigorate New York City’s urban forest. We hope to create more mulch than ever before.”
Christmas trees can be taken to Astoria Park, Brookville Park, Cunningham Park, Forest Park, Captain Mario Fajardo Playground, the GreenThumb and Land Restoration Project Compound, Juniper Valley Park and the Rockaways. Last year, more than 600 trees were brought to Hunters Point South Park at the corner of Borden Avenue and Center Boulevard.
“You might as well mulch with an awesome view, I always say,” Hunters Point Parks Conservancy President Rob Basch said. “We’ve got the best views anywhere from our parks and if you’ve never been to Hunters Point, the kids can play in our parks and you can stay for brunch in one of our wonderful restaurants or at least have a coffee or hot chocolate at LIC Landing by Coffeed down by the waterfront.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr