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January 5, 2013

Number of recycled Christmas trees continues to go down

If you’re interested in picking up some Christmas tree mulch for your yard, this weekend will see the height of the supply.

If you’re interested in picking up some Christmas tree mulch for your yard, this weekend will see the height of the supply.

Most people who recycle their Christmas trees do so the days and the weekend after New Year’s Day, says Mark Sroufe, the Sedgwick County park manager who runs the recycling effort.

The number of trees that are recycled continues to go down every year, Sroufe says, and his feeling is that this year the volume is down a tad. The county recycled 5,344 Christmas trees at 20 locations last year, down 17 percent from 2010.

The Extension Center at 21st and Ridge Road saw the most trees recycled last Christmas, at 863. That’s down from 1,380 in 2007-2008. Edgemoor Park was a close second last year, at 837 trees. The drop-off in Maize has increased its numbers a lot, from 24 in 2007-2008 to 109 last year. College Hill United Methodist Church also has increased nicely, to 209 last year.

Sroufe says he doesn’t know why the overall numbers continue to go down – whether it’s the economy, or whether some people who used to get real trees are getting artificial ones.

The recycling sites in Wichita and elsewhere in the county will be open through Jan. 21, and the trees left there are chipped periodically. The resulting mulch is free for the taking on a first-come, first-served basis. It should not be worked into soil, but can be placed around plants as a water-conserving, temperature-regulating blanket.

Before recycling a real Christmas tree, remove all decorations.

Here are the drop-off sites:

•  In Wichita: Boston Park, 6655 E. Zimmerly; Buffalo Park, 10209 Hardener; College Hill United Methodist Church, First and Erie; Earhart Environmental Magnet School, 4401 N. Arkansas; Edgemoor Park, 5815 E. Ninth St.; Extension Education Center, 7001 W. 21st St.; Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. North; Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 Museum Blvd.; Osage Park, 2121 W. 31st St. South; and South Linwood Park, Hydraulic and Mount Vernon.
•  Outside Wichita: Cheney, East South Avenue and Garfield; Clearwater, Aquatic Center parking lot; Colwich, 115 N. 3rd St.; Derby, 2700 E. Madison; Garden Plain, at the water tower; Kechi, 107 Sioux; Maize, 201 S. Park; Mount Hope, 400 S. Thomas; Mulvane, 117 E. Main; Park City, 6801 N. Hydraulic; Valley Center, Veterans Park.

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