Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes are gearing up for their annual Christmas tree recycling initiatives, reminding residents to put their trees out to be collected to aid the cause of coastal restoration.

The recycling programs can put natural, unflocked Christmas trees that are free of all stands, lights, tinsel and ornaments to use in wetlands and coastal areas to help prevent erosion.

In New Orleans, residents in most of the city — areas served by Richard’s Disposal and Metro Services — are encouraged to place their trees curbside before 5 a.m. on their regularly scheduled second collection day of the week between Jan. 11 and Jan. 13.

Those in the French Quarter and the Downtown Development District, which are served by Empire Services, should place their trees curbside before 4 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11.

The city said trees should not be placed on the neutral ground because it delays the collection process.

Last year, more than 8,000 Christmas trees were collected in Orleans Parish and airlifted by Louisiana National Guard helicopters into the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge as part of a program to create new marsh habitat.

The project is funded and run by the City's Office of Resilience and Sustainability.

In Jefferson Parish, residents are asked to place trees curbside on Jan. 10 throughout the unincorporated areas of the parish plus Gretna, Harahan, Kenner, Lafitte and Westwego.

Garbage trucks will make one pass through each neighborhood to collect trees between Jan. 11 and Jan. 13. The trees will be used for marsh restoration or else composted.

This year’s restoration project involves placing trees in constructed shoreline fences in Goose Bayou near Lafitte to help protect and restore Jefferson’s wetlands.

Volunteers, especially those with shallow-draft boats, are needed to move trees from the staging area at Cochiara’s Marina, 4477 Jean Lafitte Blvd., in Jean Lafitte, to the pre-constructed shoreline fences in Goose Bayou on Jan. 13 and, if needed, Jan. 20. 

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and must wear layered clothing, including long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Hats and sunscreen are recommended. Gloves, safety glasses, life vests, lunch and refreshments will be provided.

For more information contact the parish Department of Environmental Affairs at (504) 731-4612 or email JPCoastalZone@Jeffparish.net.

In St. Charles Parish, the Public Works Department will pick up trees curbside around the parish on Jan. 8, 9 and 10. Drop-off sites will also be available at the East and West Bank Bridge Parks in Destrehan and Luling until Jan. 17.

The trees will be used for coastal restoration in the Bayou Gauche area.

Other metro area parishes have yet to release instructions for tree recycling.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.