PARIS – This year 100 drop of points will be available citywide to residents looking to recycle their Christmas trees. Thousands of trees end up in the trash every year, but thanks to efforts across all 20 of the arrondissements, these Christmas decorations have increasingly been turned into mulch to be spread around the city’s 490 parks and gardens.
During the holiday season in 2007-2008, when the efforts began, 15,000 trees were recycled in only 65 locations. Last year, the numbers nearly doubled with 29,000 trees turning into useful mulch in 95 spots. The service keeps trees out of incinerators while minimizing excessive transportation to shuttle trees to disposal facilities. The drop-off points are essentially a way to minimize the Christmas carbon footprint.
Jean-Charles Noudell, manager of green spaces and gardens of the 3rd arrondissement, says that the recycling program helps create mulch for the gardens that will keep soil moist, which helps cut down on watering costs. “It decomposes like any old branch in the soil to recreate what happens in the forest,” he said.
Drop-off locations include the scenic Butte Chaumont and the ritzy Champs Elysées. Also Paris is probably the only place in the world where locals can recycle their Christmas trees in a Roman amphitheater, the Arènes de Lutèce. A complete list of times and locations is available on the city’s website here. Recycling points in Parisian parks and gardens will be open during the normal operating hours of the gardens.
Citizens can leave their trees next to their recycling bins if they can’t haul their tree to the closest drop-off point. Citizens must remove all decorations from trees and flocked trees cannot be turned into mulch. The recycling services are available through January 22.