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How to dispose of your Christmas tree before it starts on fire

Free "Treecycling" services are available at sites around Duluth and in Carlton County.

FILE: WLSSD Christmas trees
City of Duluth workers feed a small mountain of discarded Christmas trees into a chipper Jan. 6, 2015. The ground-up wood and needles are used as mulch in city gardens in the spring. Bob King / File / Duluth News Tribune
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It's not yet Christmas, but the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District is already offering recycling services for those fresh-cut trees at locations across the Northland.

The "Treecycling" program kicked off Wednesday, offering free, 24-hour drop-off sites over the next several weeks — offering a head-start for those who may be traveling for Christmas.

“Holiday trees, like yard and garden waste, are banned from the trash in Minnesota,” Karen Anderson, WLSSD’s director of community relations, said in a news release. “Trees contain valuable resources that can be reclaimed through Treecycling. Collected trees will be beneficially reused as fuel, as mulch to line paths, or for other purposes, while recovering resources and saving landfill space.”

Six sites are open for drop-off through Jan. 10:

  • Chester Bowl (parking lot by playground)
  • Lester Park (parking lot by playground)
  • Duluth Heights Community Club (parking lot across the street)
  • Woodland Community Club (lower parking lot off Woodland Avenue)
  • Rose Garden (parking lot)
  • City of Duluth West Toolhouse (on Commonwealth Avenue)

Two sites in Carlton County are open through Jan. 17:

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  • Sappi Fine Paper (Cloquet, gatehouse entrance)
  • Moose Lake Compost Site (across from city garage)

Three sites are open through Jan. 31:

  • VONCO V Landfill (Gary-New Duluth neighborhood)
  • WLSSD Yard Waste Compost Site (off 27th Avenue West)
  • WLSSD Materials Recovery Center (off Rice Lake Road)

Those using the recycling service are reminded to remove all ornaments and tree stands. Wreaths, garland and other evergreen decorations with wires are not recyclable and should be thrown in the trash. Holiday light strings can be recycled year-round at WLSSD’s Materials Recovery Center.

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