The City of Santa Monica is crediting its revised Christmas tree removal program for contributing to the success of the citywide compost program.

From Dec. 29 through Jan. 23, Santa Monica residents took advantage of curbside pick-ups of their holiday trees and added more than 65 tons or 130,000 pounds of compostable materials to the City’s collection totals. Through this new program, residents were able to simply place their tree at the curb instead of hauling it to a local park. City staff requested all trees put out for composting be free of decorations, lights, artificial snow and ornaments, as non-organic materials are not compostable.

Following the first wave of collections, Santa Monica’s Resource Recovery & Recycling Division hosted a compost giveaway day that drew more than 100 residents despite less than ideal weather conditions.

City officials said composting and mulching are the greenest ways to both reduce waste and create useful fertilizer for the yard. The resulting mulch and compost can help alleviate soil compaction caused by foot traffic, reduce soil erosion and provide nutrients.

Staff thanked residents that participated in the new program and said the “Curb Your Tree” program is here to stay with more information coming this year on how residents can participate.

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