Don’t trash that tree!

When the holiday season is over and you’re taking down the decorations, make sure you dispose of that tree properly.

First, ensure all garland, ornaments and hooks are removed.

If you have room on your property, an evergreen can make a great bird feeder. Fasten it to the ground, and add suet balls, orange slices and even strings of popcorn. The birds will love using the branches as shelter while they snack.

If you have a chipper, you can turn it into a little mulch for your flower beds. If you have a pond (or know someone who does) it can be sunk to make a refuge and feeding area for fish. It can also be used as a soil erosion barrier to help stablize lake and river shorelines.

You can also take it to a composting center, such as Lehigh County’s, the Saucon County Compost Center, a number of sites in Allentown, the Bethlehem Compost Center, and more. Many communities also offer curbside pickup. Check with your municipality to find one nearby; the information is usually listed on their Web site or available via a quick phone call.

If you’re not sure where to take you tree, visit the Earth911 Website, where you can enter your zip code to find the nearest place that will accept it.

Next year, consider buying a live tree that can be replanted after the holidays.  Many garden centers and retail outlets offer them, and will be happy to provide instructions for its care and planting.

We here at Lehigh County Authority hope you are having a great holiday season, and we look forward to serving you over the next year!