Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, Washoe County, and Goat Grazers have teamed up this year to help residents of Washoe County recycle their Christmas trees.
“This program offers a quick, easy and environmentally friendly solution to dispose of your holiday tree before it becomes a fire hazard,” said Charles Moore, chief of the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.
The tree recycling program organized by the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful organization turns discarded trees into mulch for local parks, forestry projects, and food for goats.
“We work with local municipalities and fire protection districts to turn Christmas trees into mulch,” said Jaime Souza, operations manager for Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful. “Every year, more than 10,000 residents bring their trees to us, and we turn them into a resource for soil and fire erosion projects in our community.”
This year the organization is also partnering with Vince Thomas, a captain for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District and owner of Goat Grazers, to turn some of the recycled trees into treats for goats.
“The trees are like candy to the goats,” Thomas said.
For the 25th year, the recycling program will have its usual three locations: Bartley Ranch Regional Park and Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, and Shadow Mountain Sports Complex in Sparks.
Six additional drop-off locations at six Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District stations have been added this year:
Station 18 – Cold Springs: 3680 Diamond Peak Drive
Station 17 – Spanish Springs: 500 Rockwell Boulevard
Station 223 – Lemmon Valley: 130 Nectar Street
Station 221 – Silver Knolls: 11525 Red Rock Road
South Valley Volunteer Station 301 – 345 Bellevue Road
Station 16 – 1240 East Lake Boulevard.
All drop-off locations will be open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through Jan. 10
To recycle trees, residents just need to remove all decorations, lights and stands, and bring clean trees to one of the drop-off locations. Flocked trees cannot be recycled.
“We rely on chippers from Washoe County, the city of Sparks and the Sierra and Truckee Meadows Fire Protection Districts, so we have to be really careful that the trees we take are clean of all ornaments, stands – even tinsel – the smallest foreign matter can break or jam the chippers,” said Souza. “So if your tree didn’t grow it, we can’t take it.”
A $5 donation is requested to cover the cost of the program, and every donation is matched dollar for dollar by the NV Energy Foundation. Residents can also pick up free mulch at Bartley Ranch and Rancho San Rafael parks after the program is over.
The recycling program is open to residents only, and no commercial drop-offs will be accepted. Wreaths, garlands, tree clippings and other green or yard waste are also not accepted during this program.