- Associated Press - Monday, January 1, 2018

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The city of Lawrence is using its Christmas trees to provide a habitat for wildlife where an old landfill used to sit.

The city’s Christmas tree recycling program began in the early 1990s, the Lawrence Journal-World reported . As many as 50,000 trees have been saved from the city’s new landfill and brought to the site, according to Craig Pruett, operations supervisor for the city’s solid waste division.

“They don’t weight a lot, but do take up space,” Pruett said. “It’s just one less thing that is going to the landfill.”

The old landfill was abandoned decades ago and is located in what’s now Riverfront Park near the Kansas River. Pruett said trees are deposited into rows to create a wildlife habitat.

“So there is this long tube of Christmas trees that are compressed and pushed up against each other,” he said. “And so that creates a bit of a barrier for a larger animal to try to get into. Birds can fly in there or rabbits may make their bedding in the areas underneath.”

The city has picked up about 2,000 Christmas trees annually in the past few years, according to the solid waste department. Pruett said the number of collected trees is trending downward because of increased demand in artificial trees.

The city’s solid waste department will do its annual collection of live-cut Christmas trees in the first week of January. Residents are reminded to remove artificial items like tinsel, lights and ornaments.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com


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