Free pickup offered for Christmas trees |

Free pickup offered for Christmas trees

Andrew Cristancho/Sierra SunTahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal Company employee, Martin Sarabia, empties a trash can Friday on Kimberley Drive near Tahoe City. The disposal company will pick up Christmas trees free of charge during its regular pickup routes from Jan. 14 - 18.

The holidays are almost over, and chances are that festive evergreen in the living room is rapidly becoming a dangerous fire hazard.Dry and brittle Christmas trees can become blazing infernos in seconds, warn local fire officials.It can go up in 30 seconds, said North Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Duane Whitelaw. Ive seen the video from the National Fire Protection Association, and it is amazing.That video and others available on the Internet illustrate what will happen to at least a few of the 32 million households that enjoy live trees this year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Whitelaw said Tahoe-Truckee residents can share that sad fate.We recommend people getting it out of their home after the holidays, Whitelaw said. Every tree is different, [with] the amount of moisture in it, but the sooner you can get it out of your house the better.That is where the Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal Company comes in.During the week of Jan. 14, the Tahoe City-based refuse company will pick up Christmas trees free of charge to its customers. Sanitation Company Manager Bill Carollo said because his company is still family owned, it can provide the extra level of curbside service.Pretty much every trash locale [has a tree-recycle program], Carollo said. [But] in Reno you have to bring them to a location.The companys service area includes Tahoes West Shore and North Shore, Truckee and the Interstate 80 corridor from Floriston to Colfax. The only exception to the local curbside service this year will be for Tahoe Donner residents, who will have a neighborhood drop-off location available to them.The trees sit in a pile at the landfill over the winter, are chipped in the spring and sold to local commercial landscaping companies, according to company Operations Manager Chris Donica.In 2006, Donica said the company collected over 23 tons of Christmas trees.Considering the fuel cost of hauling the trees, he explained, the revenue received from the chips is hardly enough to, keep the lights on. North Tahoe and Truckee residents have another option for recycling trees.Officials from Waste Not, The Incline Village General Improvement Districts conservation program, accept Christmas tree drop-off anytime until Feb. 4 at Preston Field, on Highway 28 near the Mount Rose Highway, in Incline Village.

Customers of Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal Company who wish to participate in the annual Christmas treecycle program, should place their tree out for collection on their regular service day during the week of Jan. 14-18. Sanitation workers will collect the trees at no charge to the customer during this week only. Refuse company officials recommend customers remove all decorations, like tinsel, garland, lights, stand and flocking.The tree must be cut into 3-foot segments to maximize space within the mobile trash bins the company uses for its curbside pickup. Also, trees should be visible from the road.Tahoe Donner residents should bring their trees to the intersection of Slalom Road and Northwood Boulevard for pickup during the same week, Jan. 14-18.If customers miss the date, they can haul the Christmas trees to the Eastern Regional Material Recovery Facility on Cabin Creek Road, where they will be accepted at no charge through Jan. 26.Call the disposal company with questions at 583-0148.For more information on Waste Not, call Rebecca Sawyer at (775) 832-1284, or visit

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