Christmas tree disposal rules help save Toledo taxpayers’ moneyWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Toledo will again accept Christmas trees at select city park sites Dec. 26-Jan. 27. Those trees will be chipped into mulch for use in city parks.
What are the rules?
- No artificial trees, only fresh-cut Christmas trees
- No decorations whatsoever, including stray pieces of tinsel
- No bagged trees
Tim Burns, manager of parks and forestry, said every time a decorated tree is dropped off, he has to assign a city worker to remove the ornaments and tinsel. This costs taxpayer money, he said. Sometimes, the tree is so decorated it just has to be pitched.
“We get approximately 500 trees per site and we have six sites, so that is about 3,000-4,000 trees,” Burns said. “You can only drop off a tree if you live in one of the districts, but no one is monitoring so we aren’t going to know. Most of the local municipalities do curbside pickup, so people aren’t going to drive to Toledo to get rid of their trees.”
Burns said the six locations seem to get the same amount of trees, but South Toledo occasionally gets more because of its slightly higher social economics. More money equals more trees.
“Tinsel isn’t as popular as it used to be, but one out of 50 trees has some type of ornament. Every once in a while we will get a tree that is fully decorated,” Burns said.
Some people like to bring their trees in bags, but Burns said it would be helpful if they got rid of the bag upon arrival. This year, trash bins will be provided to reduce the number of bagged trees.
The benefit of the Christmas tree program is twofold. One, residents can get rid of their trees; two, the city can use the trees for mulch. Twenty-five Christmas trees yield 1 cubic yard of mulch.
Burns said the city forestry workers make two kinds of mulch. The first type includes Christmas trees and is certified playground mulch (more compact). The other type is hardwood, doubled-processed, aged mulch, which is used for landscaping.
In addition to using the mulch for city purposes, both types are available for purchase. The mulch is $15 a cubic yard and can be delivered for $25 per delivery. Call (419) 936-3010.
The city’s mulch business started as a byproduct of its services, Burns said. City workers remove so many trees each year that if they didn’t turn them into mulch, the city would have to pay to haul the debris away. In four years, city workers removed 8,000 ash trees.
Burns encourages residents to consider dropping their tree at one of these six locations. It helps the city and it helps save taxpayer dollars, he said.
- Jermain Park on Upton Avenue in District 1.
- Schneider Park on Schneider Road near South Detroit Avenue in District 2.
- Ravine 2 Park on Mott Street in District 3.
- Detwiler Park at Manhattan Boulevard and Summit Street in District 4.
- Bowman Park in the Laskey Road parking lot in District 5.
- Greenwood Park in the Gage and Darrel lots in District 6.