How to dispose of your Christmas tree

Published 10:00 am Monday, December 26, 2011

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

The live Christmas tree that looks good and smells better in the living room right now might not look so good a week or two after Christmas day.

The Shelby County landfill is willing to take that tree off your hands, according to county Environmental Manager Robert Kelley.

County citizens can take their trees to the landfill, located on Alabama 70 between Calera and Columbiana, or they can drop them off at the Ray Building off Alabama 70 in Columbiana, at the Chelsea City Hall, at Heardmont Park on U.S. 119, at Alabaster’s Colonial Promenade or at the Pelham City Park between Dec. 27-Jan. 4.

County workers will pick up any trees dropped off at those spots, Kelley said.

All drop areas will be located in parking lots and designated with orange traffic cones and signs.

Landfill workers will put the trees through a chipper, and will use the chips for erosion and sediment control at the landfill, Kelley said.

Jim Suttle, owner of the Mt. Meadows Christmas tree farm in Columbiana, said people should not burn their Christmas trees.

“When they dry out, they really will flame up, so you should avoid burning the tree,” he said.

Suttle said different trees will last different lengths of time inside — some will last a month, some a shorter amount of time. All trees must be watered well to stay fresh as long as possible, though.

Once trees start shedding their needles quickly, it’s time to get rid of them.

“If they start shedding enough, they do need to be taken out of the house because they do become a fire hazard,” Suttle said.