After all the decisions and errands checked off by holiday revelers in recent weeks, it's time to face one more: What to do with your still-beautiful but soon-to-fade Christmas tree?
Fortunately there are easy options for recycling and disposal, including one that has a charitable touch.
For starters, those with curbside garbage collection can chop up their unflocked tree for recycling in the green bin. Flocked trees can be chopped up and discarded in the garbage bin or be taken to the county landfill or one of four waste transfer stations throughout the county.
On regular pickup days starting next week and stretching through mid-January, residents of Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, Windsor, Cloverdale and the unincorporated county may also leave a full unflocked tree beside the yard waste container. Free drop-off locations will also be available throughout the county starting this week. The list of 13 sites can be found on the county's waste management website www.recyclenow.org/recycling/tree.asp.
For those looking to dispose of their tree and make a charitable gift, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops in the area will be picking up old Christmas trees to help pay for their activities.
Designated dates are Dec. 29 and 30, Jan. 5 and 6, and Jan. 12 and 13. Pickup can be arranged by calling a waste management agency hotline, 565-3333. The suggested donation for the service is $7 for trees less than six feet tall and $10 for larger trees.
The fundraiser, now in its third year for the Girl Scouts, is one of their major revenue generators to support camp and event fees, a scout leader said.
The girls "put on their gloves and just load up these trees," said Teresa Ramirez, who leads a Healdsburg-based Girl Scout troop. "It's a lot of fun for them. They really look forward to it."
(You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)