Ready to ditch your Christmas tree? Here’s how, when New Orleans-area parishes will collect them _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- A discarded Christmas tree awaits collection on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans as the streetcar passes in the background Thursday, January 10, 2013.

In a holiday ritual as familiar as the Phunny Phorty Phellows mobbing a streetcar on Twelfth Night, local governments will soon begin collecting this year’s Christmas trees for placement in area wetlands, in hopes they’ll help slow the erosion of Louisiana’s coast.

Most parishes do not announce precisely where the trees will be deployed, but Jefferson Parish has put out a call for volunteers to help recycle some of the trees for use in a marsh restoration project at Goose Bayou near Lafitte.

In most areas, trees won’t be collected until after New Year’s, although those eager to be rid of them may drop them off at specific locations in certain parishes.

Trees may be recycled only if they are natural and if they have been stripped of ornaments, lights, tinsel and other accoutrements.

Here are parish-by-parish details about when to put out trees:

  • Jefferson Parish: In unincorporated Jefferson Parish, Gretna, Harahan, Lafitte and Westwego, garbage crews will collect trees curbside on Jan. 8-10. In Kenner, collections will be on Jan. 7-9; trucks will make only one pass through each neighborhood. Residents of the city should put their trees out on the curb the evening of Jan. 6 to ensure they are collected, according to officials.
  • Orleans Parish: Place trees curbside on your regular collection day, starting Jan. 8 and ending Jan. 10.
  • St. Charles Parish: Place trees curbside by Jan. 12. For those who want to dispose of their trees earlier, take them to one of the designated areas at the East and West Bank Bridge Parks in Destrehan and Luling .
  • St. Tammany and St. Bernard parishes: Officials were not ready to announce plans.

Those interested in helping Jefferson Parish reuse its trees should meet at 8 a.m. Jan. 10 at Cochiara’s Marina, 4477 Jean Lafitte Blvd. Those participating in the project must be at least 18 and should wear layered clothing, including long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes. The parish will provide safety glasses, vests, lunch and refreshments.

Other trees will be chipped by Wood Materials LLC and used for composting.