Selecting and trimming a Christmas tree is a joyous occasion. Getting rid of a tree is a sadder affair. It reminds us that everything has a season. But even that chore can be turned into something educational and pleasant through recycling.
Baltimore City residents have until tomorrow to take trees to be recycled -- and get a free bag of mulch in return.
Mulching machines are working from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Camp Small in Druid Hill Park, where signs point to the location if entered from Druid Lake Drive (off Jones Falls Expressway). Few families took advantage of this opportunity last week. But those who did were invited to fill their plastic bags (bring your own bag; the city is poor) with mulch. That brought the fresh smell of Christmas back to the house.
Baltimore County residents can take their trees to three collection points seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. until the end of the month. The eastern collection point is at the Bureau of Sanitation's North Point service center in Dundalk, Wise Avenue and Merritt Boulevard; the central area is served from the Deereco park and ride lot in Timonium; the western area collection point is at the MTA park and ride lot at Route 166 and Rolling Road. Not only are participants able to leave with a bag of mulch but they also will get a coupon redeemable in April for a pine seedling.
Anne Arundel County's offer for free evergreen seedlings has expired, but trees are still welcomed at landfills in Millersville and Sudly. Call 222-6103 for more information.
Howard County residents can take trees for recycling from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, but no free mulch is available. Locations are the county fairgrounds in West Friendship; the county water tower, near Cedar Lane and Rivendell; the Waterloo Elementary School on Route 103; Long Reach Park on Dobbin Road; the small parking lot on Court House Drive (near Sarah's Lane); Rockburn Park in Elkridge and Savage Park on Fair Street.
Harford County and Carroll County residents should consult their trash collectors about Christmas tree disposal.