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Christmas is Over—What Do You Do with that Tree?

The presents are all unwrapped. The eggnog is at least mostly gone. Those stockings hung with care are now scattered about the house, and the evergreen in the living room looks a little less green than the day you bought it.

So what do you do with the tree?

Waste Management will be picking up Mission Viejo residents' trees on scheduled collection days for the next three weeks, Dec. 26-Jan. 17. For the weeks of December 23 and December 30, collection will be delayed one day for customers normally serviced Wednesday through Friday.

Here is a step-by-step guide to trashing your tree, courtesy of the City of Mission Viejo:
  • Remove all decorations, including tinsel, lights, ornaments and tree stands, and place tree inside green waste cart. Customers without a green waste cart are asked to place their tree on the curb.
  • Trees taller than six feet must be cut in half.
  • Please note that flocked trees cannot be recycled. They will be collected by your trash collector.

For the creative recycler, here are other ideas for repurposing your tree:

  • Bird feeders: Place the Christmas tree in the garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary. Fresh orange slices or strung popcorn will attract the birds and they can sit in the   branches for shelter.
  • Mulch: A Christmas tree is biodegradable; its branches can be removed, chipped and used as mulch in the garden.
  • Living, rooted trees:  Of course, you can get a rooted tree and then plan it in your yard after Christmas.

For more environmental information, visit cityofmissionviejo.org/green.

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