If you want to recycle your Christmas tree, but don’t want a car full of needles
or to haul your tree through the streets on foot,
Today is the deadline to register for Croydon’s paid-for garden waste collection service. Whatever the rights or wrongs of the council’s proposal, green waste collections don’t run over the Christmas period in any case – just when a large number of Croydon households have one very obvious item of green waste for recycling!
Croydon Treecycle say,
“Around 11,000 Christmas trees are dropped off at the council’s designated tree collection points each year, but this likely represents only 10% of the number of ‘real’ Christmas trees in the borough. The other 90% of trees will go to landfill, with each tree costing the council around £2.50 in fees and landfill taxes!
However, Croydon residents are usually pretty good at recycling: In 2013, 44% of Croydon’s household waste was sent for reuse, recycling and composting – better than the national average, and far better than the London average. That’s 44% of household waste, but only 10% of Christmas trees. This compares very poorly with neighbouring Lambeth, where 85 tons of trees were recycled in 2013! Of course, Lambeth operates a kerbside tree collection service, and this is where Croydon Treecycle believes the difference lies.
Croydon Council provides 18 tree collection points around the borough, but expect you to get your Christmas tree there yourself.
If you own a car, this means stuffing the tree into the boot or back seat, risking scratches to yourself and your car’s paintwork, pine needles everywhere, and potentially releasing mould spores into the car environment. Also, consider the environmental impact of one car journey per tree.
If you don’t own a car – and 33% of Croydon households do not – you can either haul the tree through the streets to your collection point, or try taking your tree with you on public transport. For example, for Fairfield residents, a trip from central Croydon to the Oaks Rd / Coombe Rd collection point would mean enjoying a tram ride with your tree, followed by 20mins of hauling on foot. Good luck with that!
The lack of a kerbside collection acts as a barrier to residents’ usual inclination to recycle, so Croydon Treecycle is offering a low-cost collection service. For just £10, Croydon residents can book to have their tree collected from outside their home. No mess, no fuss.”
Croydon Treecycle is registered with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier and is running services on residents’ usual recycling days. Targeting areas in this way allows Croydon Treecycle to minimise the amount of driving each van has to do and therefore, limit its CO2 emissions. If you’d prefer a collection on an alternative day this could be arranged for an additional fee.
Chipping and mulching a Christmas tree reduces by 80% the carbon footprint of the same tree in landfill.
Trees are taken to wood chipping facilities in the south of the borough where they are turned into compost, which will later promote further organic growth and further carbon capture. Chipping and mulching a Christmas tree reduces by 80% the carbon footprint of the same tree in landfill.
Croydon Treecycle say,
It will take time to change the council’s green waste collection policy, but you can take action today by booking a Christmas tree collection from Croydon Treecycle, at www.croydon-treecycle.co.uk.
Croydon Treecycle website has further info, including useful tips on how to take down your Christmas tree.
Find them on Twitter at @CroydnTreecycle
if you’d prefer to opt for the Council’s free collection service, click here for details of free drop-off points and opening hours of Refuse and Recycling Centres.
Whatever you decide, please do not fly-tip or bin your tree!