SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The city of San Diego's 40th annual Christmas tree recycling program will begin Dec. 26, the Environmental Services Department announced Wednesday.
The trees are turned into compost and mulch, which can be picked up by city residents at the Miramar Landfill's greenery throughout the year.
"Recycling Christmas trees is an important way for San Diegans to help the environment and extend the life of the Miramar Landfill," said Chris Gonaver, the department director.
Residents with curbside service can simply leave their trees outside with their other refuse. Those without curbside pickup can take their trees to 16 drop-off locations throughout the city.
The trees need to be clean -- meaning no lights, ornaments, tinsel or stands. Flocked trees are accepted.
"Historically, yard clippings and other organic materials, such as Christmas trees, comprise more than 20 percent of the material buried in the landfill," Gonaver said. "By recycling trees, residents help reduce the amount of material in the landfill and give holiday trees a second life as compost, mulch or wood chips."
Anyone who has to dispose of a Christmas tree before the actual holiday can take it to the greenery seven days a week, according to Gonaver.
Dropoff locations will be at:
-- Carmel Valley Recreation Center, 3777 Townsgate Drive, lower parking lot;
-- Cielo Drive at Woodman Street in Encanto;
-- Golden Hill Recreation Center, 2600 Golf Course Drive;
-- Kate Sessions Memorial Park, Soledad Road and Loring Street in La Jolla;
-- Memorial Recreation Center, 2902 Marcy Ave. in Logan Heights;
-- Miramar Landfill greenery, Convoy Street north of state Route 52;
-- SeaWorld Drive at Pacific Highway near Mission Bay;
-- Chollas Lake, in the parking lot at 6350 College Grove Drive;
-- Robb Athletic Field Recreation Center, 2525 Bacon St. in Ocean Beach;
-- Montgomery Waller Community Park, lower-west parking lot on Palm Avenue in Otay Mesa
-- Rancho Bernardo Recreation Center, 18448 W. Bernardo Drive;
-- Canyonside Recreation Center, 12350 Black Mountain Road in Rancho Penasquitos;
-- San Diego State University, parking lot D off Alvarado Road;
-- Scripps Ranch Recreation Center, 11454 Blue Cypress Drive;
-- De Portola Middle School, 11010 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. in Tierrasanta; and
-- Swanson Pool, 3585 Governor Drive in University City.
Trees from commercial tree lots or fundraising projects are not accepted at the drop-off locations. Instead, such trees can be dropped off until Jan. 23 at the greenery for a nominal fee.