Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree, whatever shall I do with thee?
As the holidays come to a close, and the festive decorations come down, one tall, needley item — the Christmas tree — still stands in houses across Arvada.
The city is offering an outlet to recycle that tree, while giving back to the community.
“We keep a lot of trees from going to the landfill,” said Craig Hillegas, the city's forester. “It's a grab-a-tree, mulch-it, and then put-it-away event.”
While driving up to the Lutz sports complex at 58 and Miller streets, one of the city's three recycling stations, a large green Christmas tree cutout stands with hundreds of trees behind it, marking the dropoff site. A scent of pine and evergreen trees wafts through car air vents in the frosty cold morning.
With hardware, tinsel, lights and ornaments removed, residents sporadically drove up to recycle their trees on a recent day. One by one, they plopped them on top of a growing pile before jumping into their cars, leaving 2015 and the holidays behind them.
“There's no reason to throw these into the landfill,” said Arvada resident Geoff Suk after he dropped off his tree. “It's organic material that we can give back to the earth.”
Tree by tree, city workers threw them into the chopper, where they were turned into mulch, leaving little tree shavings along the ground and infusing fresh pine scent into the air.
The city's parks department does a variety of things with the woody remnants. From donations to local gardens and residents, and using them for park maintenance throughout the year, Arvada Christmas trees continue to be of use far past their holiday expiration date.