SCHUYLER FALLS - Once the warm, fuzzy feeling of the holidays has gone away, there's still much work to be done - at least when it comes to taking down those holiday decorations.
Aside from taking down the Christmas lights and the oversized inflatable lawn snowglobe, there's the annual tradition of taking down the Christmas tree. If you're someone who's opted for an artificial tree, the clean-up is as simple as breaking down the manmade marvel and storing it away until next winter. However, when it comes to real trees, you may sometimes find yourself asking where do they go from here?
Craig Squier, general manager of the Clinton County Landfill, said the facility is again accepting Christmas trees for recycling free of charge through Saturday, Jan. 30. The annual grace period, which traditionally begins the day after Christmas, waives the $5 fee charged by the landfill for accepting Christmas trees as brush, said Squier.
"Folks probably take their tree down at New Year's or shortly thereafter, but there are some stragglers," said Squier. "Some take it down and it lies on the side of the driveway or the garage and it continues to turn brown. I sometime see some brought in as late as the spring with spring cleaning."
The recycling program incentive, however, often brings in hundreds of trees by the close of the program, said Squier. And, it couldn't be simpler, he added.
"It's self-service; they drive up to the brush pile, untie it from the roof of their car or off the back of their utility trailer or pickup truck and drop it off," said Squier. "It will be very obvious where the brush pile is located."
Because they are run through a wood chipper in the spring, trees brought to the landfill brush pile must be free of lights, ornaments, tree-toppers, tinsel and tree stands, said Squier.
"Running into a chipper with any of those on them would do a number on the chipper blades," he said.
Squier also noted if a tree is brought to the landfill in any sort of binding or bag, it must be removed before the tree is left in the brush pile.
"I know a lot of times it's easier to handle that way if it's started shedding the needles off already," said Squier, "but once they arrive at the brush pile, the outer tree bag needs to be removed."
Squier added a trash receptacle is provided near the brush pile to discard bags and other bindings such as twine or rope.
Wreaths and centerpieces are also accepted, provided those dropping them off assure they are free of any metal or other artificial framework or decorations.
"The problem with most Christmas wreaths is they are mounted on either a homemade frame of metal coat hangers or the store-bought metal frames and quite honestly, most people aren't going to take the time to strip the wreaths off those metal frames," said Squier. "And, that would raise havoc on the chipper with the presence of that metal in there. If they are going to dispose of Christmas wreaths and whatnot, the metal must be removed."
The landfill, located at 286 Sand Road, is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Christmas trees may be dropped off during those hours only.
Those wishing to dispose of their trees may also check with the respective municipal departments of public works or highway departments as well as their private trash haulers to see if tree pick-up service is offered.