Philadelphia’s Tree Recycling and Waste Reduction

Philadelphia will participate in the annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program which will run from Monday January 4th through Saturday January 16th. This environmentally sound program was developed 27 years ago within the City Streets Department. Christmas trees present a seasonal addition to the City’s waste stream. By recycling them and returning them to the earth, there is a reduction of waste costs, in addition to fostering a valuable resource.  Residents may follow these tips to re-use their trees: Small pine limbs and needles are good winter mulch material for sensitive plants. Trees can also become backyard compost. For those households that cannot participate in the recycling program, trees placed at the curb will be picked up on regularly scheduled collection day as trash. Trees set out for pickup are sent to a waste-to-energy plant along with other rubbish collected at the curb. In an effort to keep the city clean, Block cleanups are held each year in early April. You may also choose to organize your own regular block cleanups to connect with your neighbors, instill responsibility in your children, and improve the overall quality of life in your neighborhood.

Recycling tip: In Philadelphia plastic bags can be easily recycled. Most grocery stores have a bag bin at the front of the store to collect bags that are returned to the store. The bags are recycled into park benches, decking and other consumer products. Plastic bags are not accepted in the curbside recycling program because they damage machinery and pose worker safety hazards. To safely recycle plastic bags, return them to specially marked recycling bins located at the front of most supermarkets.

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