With this year's Christmas over, it's a matter of time before decorations get boxed up and the Christmas tree gets tossed.
At elevations of between 2,500 and 3,000 feet above sea level, North Carolina's Ashe County is the top grower, providing approximately two million trees in 2012, according to the most recent data available.
Waste Connections Inc. will pick up natural trees with yard debris collection or regular garbage service.
Of the (formerly) live trees, however, the short-needled and densely-branched Fraser Fir is the top seller, with nearly 8 million sold in 2014, according to the most recent data.
"Our Environmental Management Department is going to be offering free Christmas tree recycling beginning on December 26 through January 15 for New Hanover County residents", Communications and Outreach Coordinator for New Hanover County Jessica Loeper said.
These are just a few ways trees can be recycled without the energy expense of mechanized chipping.
Tree preparation requirements vary, but for the most part, all branches must be stripped of ornaments, lights, tinsel, wire, stands, plastic and other added materials. Specifically, residents with alley collection are instructed to place their Christmas trees in the alley, where they normally set out trash and recycling. "Our Christmas tree recycling program is a way for residents to safely dispose of their Christmas trees and gives the township a source of much-needed mulch".
Sponsors say it collected more than 15,000 trees a year ago. Scout groups will distribute door hangers with contact information in their areas of work.