By Katie Demeria
Though disposing of Christmas trees may not be the most festive part of the holiday season, waste management departments in Shenandoah and Warren counties are working to make disposal as easy as possible.
Residents in both counties will find that discarding their trees is as simple as loading them up and dumping them into designated spots, so long as all the lights and ornaments have been removed.
Warren County's Solid Waste Manager Mike Berry said his department plans to set up an easy-access disposal can at it Rockledge Convenience Site on Stonewall Jackson Highway.
"We receive all types of yard waste all year long, so you can take your Christmas trees to us at basically any time now," he said. "We set the can up to make it easier for people to just throw it in there."
Warren County transports all its solid waste out of the county, Berry added, but residents are also welcome to dispose of their trees at the transfer station on Shangri-La Road in Bentonville.
The disposal can, Berry said, will be left up for several weeks after Christmas, depending on how many people are using it to discard their trees.
Shenandoah County's Department of Solid Waste Management does all of its disposal onsite, according to Operations Manager Brad Dellinger.
"We have everyone just take their trees to the brush pile," Dellinger said. "We try to save all of them to make into mulch and then reuse."
The compactor site at Shenandoah County's Edinburg landfill location had special hours Tuesday and Thursday to make up for the Christmas tree overflow, according to its website.
In the past, Dellinger would sell the mulch created from the compactor, but lately he has been using it onsite.
"We put it all to good use," he said. "You'll grind it up and then over the years it will actually disappear. Most landfills have those wood piles, and they try to recycle all of it."
Ornaments and lights remaining on the trees is a possible worry for the compactor, but Dellinger said he is not usually concerned.
"Most people are pretty good about cleaning them off," he said.
Warren County recycles discarded trees by sending them away to be ground into mulch as well, Berry said.
The busiest time for residents to drop off their Christmas trees, Berry and Dellinger said, is usually right after Christmas and through the first week of the New Year.
"Usually the week after Christmas, toward New Year's, I would say, you're typically pretty busy," Berry said. "Some people come immediately after Christmas to throw them away."
Dellinger also said locals start bringing their trees immediately following Christmas.
Residents who want to recycle their trees are encouraged to drop them off with either the Shenandoah County landfill or one of the Warren County disposal sites.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org