City adds sites for recycling Christmas trees

Wichita will have more places than ever to take real Christmas trees for recycling this year. Ten sites open today for people who are going out of town for the holidays and don't want to come home to a crispy tree. The sites will remain open through Jan. 23.

College Hill United Methodist Church was added as a recycling site last year, while Earhart Environmental Magnet School took some time off because of construction. Now the school's back on the list, so the number of sites is at an all-time high, said Caroline Hosford, environmental training specialist for Sedgwick County. The county sponsors the sites.

There will be nine recycling sites elsewhere in the county. Maize won't be offering recycling this year because it didn't have a place that would work, Hosford said, but it should be back on the list next year. Garden Plain has moved its location this year to the water tower.

Hosford said the number of trees recycled each year has leveled off.

"I think people kind of expect it and they use it," she said of the service. "I don't know what will happen this year, because typically in a down economy people go to artificial trees. That may happen this year."

Before taking a tree to one of the sites, remove all decorations. The trees will be chipped periodically at each site, and the resulting mulch will be available for free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Here are the locations:

In Wichita:

* Boston Park, 6655 E. Zimmerly

* Buffalo Park, 10209 Hardtner

* College Hill United Methodist Church, First and Erie streets

* 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

* South Linwood Park, Hydraulic and Mount Vernon

In Sedgwick County:

* Cheney, East South Avenue and Garfield

* Clearwater, Aquatic Center parking lot

* Colwich, 115 S. Third St.

* Garden Plain, water tower

* Kechi, 107 Sioux St.

* Mount Hope, 400 S. St. Thomas

* Mulvane, 117 E. Main St.

* Park City, 6801 N. Hydraulic

* Valley Center, City Park near railroad tracks.