A pile of Christmas trees sits in front of the Howelsen Ice Arena parking lot Tuesday afternoon. Residents can drop off their trees until mid-February.

Photo by John F. Russell

A pile of Christmas trees sits in front of the Howelsen Ice Arena parking lot Tuesday afternoon. Residents can drop off their trees until mid-February.

Recycle Christmas trees at Howelsen

Annual program converts trees to free mulch for residents

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A sign pointing the way to the city's Christmas tree recycling area is framed by the branches of trees that already have been dropped off in front of the Howelsen Ice Arena parking lot. Residents can drop off trees until mid-February.

At a glance

Parks Supervisor Ernie Jenkins asks that anybody recycling a Christmas tree remove all wires, decorations and lights before dropping the tree at Howelsen Ice Arena. For more information, call the Steamboat Springs Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department at 879-4300.

— The Christmas trees are beginning to pile up in the Howelsen Ice Arena parking lot.

The city of Steamboat Springs’ annual Christmas tree recycling program is under way. Actually, it started the day before Christmas, Parks Supervisor Er­­nie Jenkins said.

“There are people who come in town just for the holidays who recycle their trees the day after Christmas,” he said. “So we get set up to handle them.”

Anyone wishing to dispose of a tree can drop it off in the northeast corner of the parking lot at Howelsen Ice Arena.

Jenkins asked that those recycling Christmas trees remove all metal wires, decorations and lights before dropping them at Howelsen.

He said metal wires wouldn’t go through the city’s wood chipper. For that reason, Jenkins urged residents not to recycle their store-bought wreaths at Howelsen because many contain metal wiring. Any homemade wreaths that aren’t held together with metal wiring can be recycled, he said.

In the spring, the trees will be ground to mulch, which will be available for free to residents, Jenkins said.

He said Steamboat’s program to convert recycled Christmas trees to free mulch has been going on for about 15 years and is popular with residents.

Jenkins said the thousands of trees would be ground into 30 to 40 cubic yards of mulch. And he said it goes fast.

“We usually are out of it by mid-April,” he said. “It’s gone.”

Jenkins said the city would collect Christmas trees until mid-February.

For more information, call the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Depart­ment at 879-4300.

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