Mulch for the Masses: Tree Recycling Breaks Records in NYC
My apartment’s not exactly the first place anyone would think to have a Christmas tree. It’s the size of a toddler’s shoe box and my daft cats have a sweet tooth for pine needles. However, for thousands of New Yorkers who did decorate trees for the holiday season, this past weekend was an opportunity to not only retire 2011′s evergreens, but grant them a second life.
24,231. That’s the number of trees recycled during this year’s MulchFest. It soundly tops last year’s final count of 17,000, and with good motivations–it’s the best way for New Yorkers to keep their conifers out of the landfill (the compost is probably better used elsewhere). On Saturday and Sunday, thousands of city residents hauled their trees to one of 35 MulchFest collection spots throughout the metropolitan area, handing over their firs and pines for a cup of coffee and a bag of mulch.
The remaining mulch is set to be spread around street trees and park landscaping across the boroughs. Not only will this lead to happier city plants, but friendlier garbage men as well. Nothing sets your day on the path to misfortune like a curmudgeonly sanitation worker.
Even if 98% of the over 30 million trees sold each year in the U.S. are cut from dedicated conifer farms, think about recycling yours next season if you weren’t able to this year. Along with being used to nurture new trees and plants, evergreen mulch is often repurposed by recycling groups for animal bedding, creating energy, and more. I think that’s worth a few extra minutes spent vacuuming shed needles out of the trunk of your car.
Be sure to check out Docent Joyce Newman’s article on holiday conifers if you’d like to learn more. 75-foot spruce trees aren’t likely to make their way into your living room unless you happen to be Clark Griswold, but it’s fun to read up on the extreme end of holiday decorating.