There are several ways to rid yourself of the Christmas tree still standing in your home littering dry needles onto your living room floor.
As an added bonus, several of the upcoming events aim to raise money for schools or other charities.
The UBC Botanical Garden at 6804 Southwest Marine Dr. is hosting its Christmas tree recycling fundraiser from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Jan. 9.
The suggested donation is $5, which will help expand the food garden at Thunderbird elementary school. The East Side school hopes to add a three-bin cedar composter and a small orchard garden, a project sponsored by the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation.
UBC Botanical Garden marketing manager Katie Teed said it has held the tree-recycling event for many years.
“Then four years ago our director decided it would be a good idea to donate the funds to a local school,” she said.
The botanical garden initially worked with the school board to identify a different school each year, but last year it partnered with SPEC and the money now goes to one of the group’s school community gardens.
The total money donated has increased, according to Teed.
“We started out with about $300 and now we’re up to around $500,” she said. “So it’s not a huge amount of money, but it does make a big impact on the school.”
The trees that are dropped off will be chipped into mulch and used on garden trails. Decorations, including tinsel, must be removed and no yard trimmings will be accepted as they may contain invasive plants that could harm the botanical garden.
The Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area is holding its fourth-annual tree chipping event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 6 at Kingsgate Mall at 370 East Broadway.
Chipping is by donation and proceeds are earmarked for Mount Pleasant elementary. This year the money will go towards school field trips. Cookies and hot chocolate will be provided. The mall allows the use of its lower east side parking lot. Arbutus Tree Service chips the trees,
Last year, the BIA’s tree-chipping event enjoyed its most successful year. Almost 200 trees were dropped off to raise $1,677 for the school.
The City of Vancouver and the Lions Club are also holding their annual tree-chipping events this weekend. They run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 5 and 6 at four sites — the Kerrisdale Community Ice Rink parking lot (East Boulevard north of 41st Avenue), Kitsilano Beach parking lot (Cornwall Avenue and Arbutus Street), Sunset Beach upper parking lot (Beach Avenue and Broughton Street) and Rona Home and Garden Grandview Store (2727 East 12th Ave. in the overflow parking lot north of Grandview Hwy, south of 12th Avenue).
Only live, cut Christmas trees are accepted — no artificial or potted trees — and the decorations and tinsel must be removed. Flocking, a.k.a. artificial snow, is fine.
The trees are chipped and taken to the Vancouver Landfill to be composted. Chips from the trees are composted at the city’s yard trimmings composting facility at the Vancouver Landfill in Delta. This facility produces a high-quality product for use within the city’s engineering and park board operations, and it’s sold to landscapers and residents of the Lower Mainland.
Cash and non-perishable food donations are being collected at the events, which will be distributed to charities.
In 2012, the Lions Club tree chipping events collected about 3,200 trees, according to the City of Vancouver.
If your household receives city yard trimmings/food scraps collection, another alternative is to put your tree out for collection until Jan. 31. Lay the tree on its side — don’t bag or bundle it — and place it one metre away from your carts. The city doesn’t have an accurate count of trees collected, but collection crews are going to start tracking this information.
Residents can also drop trees off at the Vancouver South Transfer Station at 377 West Kent Ave. North or the Vancouver Landfill on the 5400 block of 72nd Street in Delta until Jan. 31. There is no charge for Vancouver residents.