Curbside pickup will begin late next week for anyone in New Orleans or Jefferson Parish whose Christmas tree has worn out its welcome.
In St. Tammany Parish, two spots have been designated for residents to drop off their trees.
In Orleans Parish, residents are asked to place trees curbside on their regularly scheduled garbage collection days Jan. 7-9. The trees must be free of lights, ornaments, tinsel and tree stands. Artificial or flocked trees will not be picked up. Residents are asked not to place trees in plastic bags or on neutral grounds.
The trees will be collected, sorted and bundled by the city’s Department of Sanitation and its solid waste contractors, Metro Service Group, Richard’s Disposal Inc. and Empire Services. The trees will then be placed in selected coastal zones in an effort to promote wetlands restoration and protect the coastline.
“As a coastal city, we must all take restoration seriously,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement. “This service is an easy way for our residents to help protect and restore our environment.”
Last year, the city collected more than 6,900 Christmas trees and had them airlifted to Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East. The project has re-established about 175 acres of marsh at Bayou Sauvage, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Jefferson Parish uses Christmas trees for coastal restoration efforts as well. As in Orleans, residents are asked to put out only trees that are real, unpainted and without lights, tinsel, ornaments, tree stands or plastic bags.
Jefferson households — including those in Gretna, Harahan, Kenner, Lafitte and Westwego — are asked to place trees curbside on the evening of Jan. 6 so trucks can pick them up Jan. 7-9.
Some of the trees will be placed in marshes near Lafitte to help protect and restore Jefferson’s coastal wetlands. Others will be brought to Wood Materials LLC to be chipped and used for composting.
Although the state no longer provides funding for marsh restoration projects using Christmas trees, Jefferson Parish is able to continue the program thanks to a private donation of $25,000 and the efforts of Wood Materials, Cochiara’s Marina and volunteers.
The parish is looking for volunteers with shallow-draft boats to move trees from a Lafitte staging area to the shoreline fences in Goose Bayou. Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. Jan. 9 at Cochiara’s Marina, 4477 Jean Lafitte Blvd. A second effort will be held Jan. 16 if needed.
Volunteers must be at least 18 and dressed appropriately for the work. Gloves, safety glasses, life vests, lunch and refreshments will be provided.
St. Tammany Parish will accept trees for recycling at the parish fairgrounds in Covington and at the old Levee Board building, 61134 Military Road, in Slidell.
Again, only real, unadorned trees will be accepted. They can be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until Jan. 29.
In St. Charles Parish, trees may be placed curbside for pickup by Jan. 12 or brought anytime to designated areas at the East and West Bank Bridge Parks in Destrehan and Luling.