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Before you toss that scraggly lump of limbs that used to be your Christmas tree on the side of the road, think about recycling it instead.
Plenty of state sanitation departments have guides for consumers on how to discard unwanted trees for recycling, but environmental site Earth911 has created a search-friendly database to help others track down recycling centers in their areas.
"Earth911 is thrilled to see the momentum building behind treecycling. Not only are we supporting local jobs for Americans, but also the reclamation of a valuable resource," said Earth911 CEO Barry Monheit.
So-called "treecyclers" have gotten a leg up with help from big box retailers like Walmart. The store agreed to work exclusively with growers who pledge to attach a tag with local recycling information on each of the 8 million trees they're estimated to sell this year.
"By partnering with Earth911 and tree growers in support of the Treecycle program, we are able to make a smart and sustainable decision for our business" said Amy Bates, manager of Walmart operations support.
So what happens to all those old trees anyway?
They can be repurposed for a host of uses, from wood chippings used in mulch for community gardens to protective erosion barriers for river deltas and wildlife habitats, according to Earth911.
Some cities rely on treecycling to prep parks and gardens for Spring.
For years, thousands of New Yorkers have taken part in MulchFest, a city government-sponsored event that collected and mulched nearly 17,000 trees last year.
Participants are free to take home chippings for their own homes and the rest of the mulch is used to nourish city gardens, according to New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
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