How Green was your Christmas tree?

Published Tuesday, 15 January 2019

More real Christmas trees than ever were recycled at Waverley Borough Council’s recycling sites this year.

In total, residents left 1,454 trees at the eight drop-off sites, set up by the council and its grounds maintenance contractor, Glendale, in car parks and green spaces across the borough.

This represents nearly a 40% increase on last year’s total. The trees are now being shredded to be used as mulch and compost in the borough’s parks and green spaces.

How your Christmas tree is disposed of can have a huge impact on the environment. The Carbon Trust estimates that a real tree that is recycled by burning, chipping, composting or planting can have negligible or even negative emissions. This can reduce its total carbon footprint by up to 80%.

By contrast, a 6.5ft real tree sent to landfill results in a carbon footprint equivalent to 16kg of CO2. This is due to the release of methane gas as it decomposes, which is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. Landfill also creates additional costs for the council – the Local Government Association estimates it costs the taxpayer nearly £100 for every 40 Christmas trees sent to landfill.

If you haven’t recycled your real Christmas tree yet you can still leave it next to your brown bin if you subscribe to the garden waste collection service. Or you can take both real and synthetic trees to be recycled at a community recycling centre. To find your nearest one, visit: http://www.waverley.gov.uk/crc

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