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Tree-cycling at Carbon County Environmental Education Center

Now that the holiday season is over, you might find yourself tossing your Christmas tree to the curb. But before you send out your spruce, consider donating it.

SUMMIT HILL, Pa. — Piles of firs and spruces line the back of Carbon County Environmental Education Center in Summit Hill. It's all part of the center's Christmas tree tree-cycling program.

"The great thing about real trees is that they are a recyclable, renewable resource," said Susan Gallagher, Carbon County Environmental Education Center.

The center has been offering this program since the 1980s.

Susan Gallagher is the chief naturalist and says all the trees get used in some way, shape, or form every year.

"The trees here are used for two things. One, we create some wildlife habitat with them. We put them at strategic locations throughout the property where they provide shelter for small animals, small birds. We also chip them up. We've had a tree service in the past that comes; they are very generous to us. They come and chip the trees, and we can use the mulch on our trails. There's also so much that we can also share it with people," said Gallagher.

If you want to drop off your tree, make sure it's free and clear of any decorations, including ornaments and especially tinsel. If you don't live in the Carbon County area, but you want to put your tree to some good, environmental use, we have a few tips.

"You can also take it out and put it in your own backyard next to your bird feeder. It offers the birds cover in addition to food. You're meeting a lot of their needs and encouraging them, and providing them with some much needed mini habitat in your backyard. So you have a lot of options when you purchase a real tree," said Gallagher.

Wreaths, brush, or any other yard waste will not be accepted. You can drop off trees any day, any hour, at the back of Carbon County Environmental Education Center. Just follow the signs.