City to Participate in WVDEP's Tree Recycling Program so Residents Can Properly Dispose of Live Christmas Trees

By Julie Perine on November 26, 2019 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Residents have asked. Bridgeport Parks and Recreation is delivering.
 
This holiday season, the City of Bridgeport will participate in the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection/Division of Natural Resources’ annual Christmas tree recycling program.
 
Rather than throwing away discarded Christmas trees, residents can bring them to Bridgeport Recreation Complex between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4. The DNR will use the collected trees to create fish habitats at the bottom of West Virginia lakes and streams, thereby keeping them out of landfills and off the sides of our roads.
 
Nikki Davis,REAP Office Programs Supervisor for the West Virginia DEP, said the "Treecycle" event is a popular one. 
 
“A lot of people get excited about it - that they can could pick a live Christmas tree and instead of throwing it to the curbside, they can give the tree a new purpose which helps the environment and makes them feel like they extended the life of the tree in another way," she said.
 
To date, Bridgeport is the only other city participating in the DEP’s program. With both sites combined, the DNR hopes to collect around 2,000 trees. Annually, the program brings in between 500 and 700 trees to Charleston.
 
Employees o f the DEP will staff the Jan. 4 event, interacting with people and answering questions about the program. At that time, a list of lakes where the trees will be used will be available and a company, contracted through the DEP, will haul the trees away.
 
“The folks from the DNR take over from that point, determining how many trees they have to work with and where they will go,” Davis said.
 
Before the DNR got involved several years ago, the DEP did a tree collection program, but the trees were mulched and that mulch returned to the tree owner.
 
“The DNR noticed what was going on and said they could really use those trees,” Davis said.
 
It’s a win-win situation; in fact, a gift that keeps giving.
 
“People can enjoy the sights and smells of a real pine tree in their homes this holiday season and not have to worry about how to dispose of it,” said Joe Shuttleworth, Bridgeport Parks and Recreation. “By contributing to fish habitats here in West Virginia, folks are also contributing to a real environmental need.”
 
There will be additional information forthcoming and instructions provided as to where at Bridgeport Recreation Complex to unload discarded trees on Jan. 4.



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