Now that Christmas has passed, it’s time to begin making plans for those wilting Christmas trees.

East Baton Rouge Parish is offering curbside tree pickup and drop off options for recycled trees again this year, except in Zachary and Baker, which have their own garbage and recycling services. Trees must be bare — no wrapping, stands, decorations or flocking — for both pickup and drop off, and curbside trees should be placed about 3 feet from the curb and any nearby garbage.

Curbside pickup will run from Jan. 7-19 and tree drop off at one of the city’s five specified locations began Dec. 26 and will run through Jan. 26. Curbside pickup may take time, and residents are encouraged to leave their trees at the street.

City-parish Department of Environmental Services recycling manager Lisa Mahoney said the program each year collects approximately 80 tons worth of Christmas trees from across the parish. This year, the recycled trees will be chipped, burned and turned into composting material. The compost will then be redistributed to residents to benefit the community, she said.

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In the past, recycled trees have been donated to coastal restoration efforts, utilized as mulch in the community, and used as landfill cover at waste disposal sites. Mahoney said donating trees for beneficial reuse is a full circle approach to waste management.

“It’s a good way to advocate for composting and to give back to residents of Baton Rouge,” she said.

The city is partnering with Organic Products, LLC, a compost production and green waste management facility, to process the recycled trees. For each ton of trees donated, the city will receive a ton of compost to distribute to the public, Mahoney said.

The composting distribution element is a pilot that could turn into a larger program, she said.

The five drop off locations are:

  • Independence Park (lot off Lobdell)
  • Highland Road Park (14024 Highland Road)
  • Memorial Stadium (lot near Scenic and Foss)
  • Flannery Road Park (801 S. Flannery Road)
  • LSU (Skip Bertman Drive across from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine)

Christmas tree recycling is also being offered in Ascension Parish. The program is limited to tree drop off, and like in East Baton Rouge, trees should be stripped of any decorations, wrapping or stands. Residents can deliver their trees to the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center between Monday and Jan. 14.

Lamar-Dixon is at 9039 S. St. Landry Ave. in Gonzales. Christmas tree drop off can be found to the first left of the main entrance, in the unpaved area.

Advocate staff writer David Mitchell contributed to this report.

Follow Katie Gagliano on Twitter, @katie_gagliano.