CITYWIDE — When the sparkle of the holiday has faded from Ol’ Tannenbaum and the pine needles begin to fall faster than any snowflake in the Southland, Santa Monicans need look no further than their local parks to dispose of their tree’s festive holiday remains.
Residents are encouraged to drop by Hotchkiss, Clover, Christine Emerson Reed or Douglas parks with their ex-Christmas trees — tinsel free, of course — which will be chipped on site and used for other purposes within the city, like mulch, said Wes Thompson, a representative of the Resource Recovery & Recycling arm of City Hall.
Alternatively, residents can stop by the Southern California Disposal site at 1837 24th St. between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday to accomplish the same goal.
These sites will be open through the end of January, after which point residents will have to deal with the tree themselves.
Proper tree disposal means the aging conifers don’t end up in the dump, where their decomposition can add to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Instead, they’re put to more productive use, Thompson said.
“They’re used in projects around town,” Thompson said. “Mulch helps to conserve water. Projects also have been over at the airport in landscaped areas.”
Santa Monicans turned in roughly 40 tons of tree material last holiday season, Thompson said.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, former Christmas trees have a wide range of uses after their time as home decoration comes to a close, including soil erosion barriers, fish feeders, bird feeders and even path material for hiking trails.
It is illegal to abandon used trees in alleyways.
Here are the exact locations where Santa Monicans can “park” their trees:
• Clover Park at 25th Street and Ocean Park Boulevard
• Douglas Park at Chelsea Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard
• Christine Emerson Reed Park at Lincoln Boulevard and California Avenue
• Hotchkiss Park at Fourth and Strand streets
• Southern California Disposal at 1837 24th St., a right-hand turn off of Michigan Avenue.