DESOTO—DeSoto residents who want to do something good for the environment while eliminating a potential fire hazard from their homes are encouraged to participate in the City of DeSoto’s used live Christmas tree recycling program. There are two more days left in the program on Thursday and Friday, January 10th and 11th.
First to qualify for recycling, each tree must be a used live tree stripped of all lights and decorations and left curbside in front of a resident’s home on the dates specified for pickup by Republic Services, the City’s solid waste contractor. The collected trees will be turned into mulch for productive reuse above ground.
“A used live Christmas Tree can take up as much space in a landfill as a washing machine and more than 25 million of these live trees are sold in the USA every year,” noted DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan. “Every tree that we can keep out of a landfill makes a difference and helps to ensure that our children and grandchildren will have the beauty of the land and the natural resources that they need as they move forward in life.”
Do not bag your trees. And please be aware that trees with flocking or artificial trees cannot be recycled and should be thrown out with your regular trash. Any used live trees that are thrown in with the regular garbage and not left curbside on the days indicated will be taken to a landfill for disposal. That is why following the tree recycling guidelines is so important.
Members of the public with questions concerning trash service or tree pickup should call the City of DeSoto’s Action Center at (972) 230-9600.
NFPA Encourages Prompt Removal Of Christmas Trees
If you’re having trouble parting with your Christmas tree, here’s a fact to motivate you: One-third (33 percent) of U.S. home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. With this potential fire hazard in mind, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly encourages everyone to remove Christmas trees from their homes promptly after the holiday season.
“Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasingly flammable as they continue to dry out,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “The longer you keep one in your home, the more of a fire hazard it becomes.”
NFPA statistics show that Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they do occur, they’re much more likely to be serious. On annual average, one of every 45 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to one death per 139 total reported home structure fires.
All Christmas trees can burn, but a dried out tree can become engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds,” said Carli. “In recent years, we’ve seen tragic incidents where Christmas tree fires have resulted in deadly consequences for multiple family members, including young children.”
Christmas Tree Decoration Removal Tips
NFPA recommends using the local community’s recycling program for tree disposal, if possible; trees should not be put in the garage or left outside. Finally, the association also offers these tips for safely removing lighting and decorations and storing them properly to ensure that they’re in good condition the following season:
•Use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet, as this can harm the wire and insulation of the cord, increasing the risk for shock or electrical fire.
•Now as you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
•Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap them around a piece of cardboard.
•Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children and pets where they will not be damaged by water or dampness.