Dump your Christmas tree and get something back

December 31, 1992|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Staff Writer

Last week, its boughs were decorated with ornaments and lights that reflected the warmth and splendor of Christmas. But today, the tree is slumped in a corner, shedding pine needles, and you're looking for an environmentally sound way to get rid of it.

Well, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and recycling officials in Baltimore and Baltimore County may have the solution to your problem.

Baltimore will operate several sites where people can exchange their Christmas trees for mulch. And DNR's Tree-mendous Maryland program will offer free seedlings to residents who take their trees to mulching sites in Baltimore and Carroll counties. The programs are aimed at reducing the amount of refuse dumped in landfills following the holiday season.

In Baltimore, trees can be exchanged for mulch at Druid Hill Park on Jan. 4 through 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The mulching site will be located in the rear of the Department of Recreation and Parks offices at 3001 Druid Hill Drive.

In addition, the city, Baltimore County and radio station 92Q are sponsoring a mulching program on Jan. 9 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The mulching sites will be located at the Eastern High School parking lot, 1101 E. 33rd St.; Westview Mall parking lot, 7748 Baltimore National Pike; and Golden Ring Mall parking lot, 6400 Rossville Blvd.

[The city also will collect trees beginning Monday. Residents should place trees with their trash for pickup on their regular collection day.]

"It's important to realize that Christmas trees are recyclable," said DNR Secretary Torrey C. Brown, adding: "The trees can be ground into mulch within minutes and easily returned to the environment. The people who participate in the exchange program will be rewarded by being able to plant a seedling in the spring to bring the recycling effort full circle."

DNR collects seeds from Eastern Shore pine cones and grows the seedlings in the state nursery in Anne Arundel County. The seedlings are grown for a year and they are approximately a foot tall when they are distributed.

Last year, 10,000 vouchers for seedlings were distributed in Baltimore and Carroll counties, and DNR officials predict that about the same number will be distributed this year.

"More people than I could even imagine are environmentally conscious. There are many who don't want to just dump their trees on the side of the road," said Terry Galloway, DNR coordinator of volunteer programs.

"I think we all just take trees for granted a lot, but every time they build roads or houses, they take trees down. We never have enough trees," she said.

In Baltimore County, trees can be exchanged for seedling vouchers Jan. 11 through 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the following locations:

* Western Acceptance Facility in Lansdowne on Transway Road off the 4500 block of Hollins Ferry Road.

* Baltimore County Resource Receiving Facility in Cockeysville on Recycle Way off the 10300 block of York Road.

* Eastern Landfill in White Marsh, 6259 Days Cove Road, off the 11500 block of Pulaski Highway.

* Chesterwood Park Recycling Center in Dundalk on Chesterwood Road off Peninsula Boulevard.

In Carroll County, trees can be turned in for vouchers throughout January at the county landfills located at 1400 Baltimore Blvd. in Westminster and 7901 Kabik Court in Sykesville.

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