Discarded Christmas trees to help restore Louisiana's wetlands

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NEW ORLEANS — Discarded Christmas trees will be collected this week in New Orleans and recycled for wetlands restoration.

Residents and small businesses can leave natural trees — stripped of all ornaments, tinsel, lights and stands — curbside either Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

The New Orleans Advocate (http://bit.ly/1xOHD4I) reports the city will not collect artificial trees, flocked trees or those placed in plastic bags or on the neutral ground.

The trees will be collected, sorted and bundled by the Department of Sanitation, Materials Management Group and the city's Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs. The latter agency will cover the project's $15,000 cost.

More than 12,000 trees were collected in Orleans Parish last year and placed into Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge as part of a program to create marsh habitat.

In unincorporated Jefferson Parish, plus the cities of Gretna, Harahan, Lafitte and Westwego, crews will collect trees curbside Thursday through Saturday. In Kenner, collections will be Wednesday through Friday.

Trucks will make only one pass through each neighborhood. Residents should put trees out Tuesday evening to ensure they are collected, according to Jefferson Parish officials.

In St. Charles Parish, trees should be placed curbside by Jan. 12. Those who want to dispose of their trees earlier may take them to one of the designated areas at the East and West Bank Bridge Parks in Destrehan and Luling.

Many parishes do not announce precisely where the recycled trees will be deployed, but Jefferson Parish has put out a call for volunteers to help recycle some of the trees for use in a marsh restoration project at Goose Bayou near Lafitte.

Those interested in helping with the project should meet at 8 a.m. Saturday at Cochiara's Marina, 4477 Jean Lafitte Blvd. Those participating must be at least 18 and should wear layered clothing, including long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes. The parish will provide safety glasses, vests, lunch and refreshments.

Other trees collected in Jefferson will be chipped by Wood Materials LLC and used for composting.

Tuesday is the last day for curbside pickup of trees in St. Bernard Parish, as well as for dropping off trees at the Paris Road Transfer Station, 5120 Paris Road, in Chalmette. The station is open from 7 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday.

There is no curbside recycling for Christmas trees in St. Tammany Parish, but tree collection sites are open through Jan. 21 at the St. Tammany Fairgrounds in Covington or 61134 Military Road in Slidell. Those sites will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

St. Tammany residents also can place their trees curbside for pickup with their regular trash, but those trees will not be recycled.

St. John the Baptist Parish is picking up trees curbside through Jan. 13.


Information from: The New Orleans Advocate, http://www.neworleansadvocate.com

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