Get rid of X-mas trees properly

Published 9:04 am Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tis the season for packing up the Christmas decorations and putting them back into storage until next year.

Which means it’s also the time to properly dispose of real Christmas trees.

Residents who live in the Albert Lea city limits can drop trees off at the City Transfer Station or in the parking lot north of the city pound, located in Frank Hall Park.

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Transfer station hours are Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no fee for dropping off trees.

Joe Grossman, parks superintendent for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, wanted to remind people to remove any wire, metal and plastic from trees before disposing of them.

“Sometimes people don’t take their lights off and metal goes through our chipper and damages the equipment,” he said.

Grossman said another danger is that if wires aren’t removed there’s the possibility of injury to those running the chipper, as wires could get hooked to clothing.

Those who do not properly dispose of real trees will be subject to city littering fines.

Freeborn County does not own or operate any disposal sites.

According to Randy Tuchtenhangen with the county’s Environmental Services Department, most cities throughout the county have a lawn and garden waste disposal site that includes Christmas trees.

“Smaller cities may not and the cost of disposal is included with their property taxes,” Tuchtenhagen said.

People living in the smaller cities around the county are encouraged to contact their town’s city hall for proper procedures.

Tuchtenhagen said most people who live in the country put their trees on a compost pile or burn them with a brush pile. He wanted to remind people that a Department of Natural Resources permit is required for burning brush piles.