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Tuolumne County´s Acting Solid Waste Manager, Mark Rappaport, is encouraging Tuolumne County residents to plan on recycling their Christmas trees. According to figures from the California Christmas tree Growers Association, more than 37 million Christmas trees are sold in the United States each year. In California, more than four million trees are sold annually and more than 40,000 tons of Christmas trees require handling at the end of the holiday season. Reminders for Tuolumne County residents:

• Christmas trees become a fire hazard when kept too long.

• Burning Christmas trees in the fireplace is extremely dangerous.

• Burning trees in the open creates air pollution.

• Recycled trees have many beneficial uses.

Christmas trees should not be mixed with other trash for disposal or recycling. Residents may wish to chip their Christmas trees and use them at home as mulch or compost or take advantage of one of the following opportunities to recycle Christmas trees in Tuolumne County.

Christmas tree drop off locations – No Cost Services:

Please remove all decorations, tinsel, metal tree stands and nails. Also, some trees may have metal supporting rod in the trunk that must be removed. Trees only, no wrapping paper or trash.

• Big Oak Flat/Groveland Transfer Station – end of Merrell Road will accept clean whole trees, including flocked trees. Business hours: 8 am to 3:45 pm, Wednesday and Saturday only, December 29 through end of January.

• Cal Sierra Earth Resource Facility – Camage Avenue off Tuolumne Road near Standard. Clean, whole trees during business hours. 9 am to 4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. No flocked trees.

• Cal Sierra Materials Recovery Facility/Transfer Station. Industrial Drive in East Sonora: Flocked Trees only at no charge. 8 am to 4:45, seven days a week through end of January.

Christmas tree drop off location – Cost for Service:

• Cal Sierra Materials Recovery Facility/Transfer Station. Industrial Drive in East Sonora: $12.60, regular disposal rate for trees that can go to the Earth Resource Facility. 8 am to 4:45 pm, seven days a week through end of January.

Curbside Collection

Local solid waste collection companies will provide limited curbside collection of Christmas Trees in their respective collection areas along their regular collection routes.

They ask that trees:

• Be cut 4 feet or less in length

• Bundled and tied

• Weigh a total of 60 pounds or less

Burns Refuse Service: pick up East Standard, Tuolumne, and Standard beginning Monday, January 3 through Friday, January 7 on regular collection days. No flocked trees. Cal Sierra Disposal: pick up trees in Columbia, Sonora, Jamestown and Highway 108 corridor beginning Monday, January 3 through Friday, January 14. No flocked trees. Moore Brothers Scavenger: one day only, Thursday January 6. No flocked trees.

Reprinted with permission from Sierra Mountain Times

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