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Don't Bag Your Trees!

It is tree pick up week in Medford - January 6 through 10, 2014. Medford residents' Christmas trees are picked up by Waste Management and handled the same way they handle yard waste during the summer.  What this means for you is NO plastic bags.  It also means no decorations and no tinsel.

Last year Waste Management told us:
Please remove everything from your tree, as tinsel, lights, decorations and plastic bags are not compostable.  Do not put your tree in a plastic bag; it is Waste Management’s policy to not pick up trees in plastic bags.

If you find carrying a Christmas Tree out of your house very messy, and you have discovered that using a large plastic bag/plastic wrap to carry it out really saves on the housekeeping, I have a solution for you: once you get the tree to the curb, take a knife and slit the bag up the side.  Then roll the tree out of the bag leaving the tree and tuck the bag into your garbage can.

If you miss tree pickup, please do not burn your tree. Burning yard waste is illegal in Medford. Burning unseasoned wood (like Christmas Trees) is particularly bad for chimneys and can cause chimney fires.

Waste Management composts our yard waste and chips and composts our Christmas Trees.  This is why it is important to put out yard waste only, not logs, plastic bags or other random stuff. 

For more environmental information about Christmas Trees and their disposal, see End Of The Line For Christmas Trees on our personal blog.

Happy New Year!
Alicia Hunt
Director of Energy & Environment
City of Medford

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pete January 09, 2014 at 06:40 PM
We just found out the pickup date too late. What's our recourse -- drive it to another street?
Just a Medford Guy January 09, 2014 at 08:46 PM
I have a sincerely honest question on the topic. Yet it relates to the City-Wide pickup of yard waste as well. I have several trees on my property that don't release the leaves until 2-3 weeks after the final pick-up date. I bag the leaves in the correct bags - yet have to store them on my porch until the Spring to be removed. I do the same during the Fall/Winter when trees drop limbs on our property - and the sidewalk - and I have to use a chain saw to cut them into pieces (I do not have a fireplace). Aside from Condo's being an exception to the norm (unfair to them in my opinion) Do they need to get a "branch trimmer" and cut off the limbs - and then cut the tree down to the stump - and place it in a Yard Refuse Bag as well - only to wait until the Spring for it to be removed?
Just a Medford Guy January 09, 2014 at 08:50 PM
Here's a potential solution: Allow residents to drop off their live Christmas Trees at a place the City deems appropriate. The City can contract with local landscaping companies to give them access and mulch the trees to use for their business. It doesn't have to be a single company.
Marie Hayes January 10, 2014 at 07:36 AM
Last tree pick up is today, trucks are rolling. Try calling DPW and ask for Paul Gere.
Marie Hayes January 10, 2014 at 08:00 AM
JAMG, great idea! Winchester has their residents bring their trees to the town dump. As for pick up of condo yard waste, condos don't qualify for that free to all Medford residents feature. The tenant of a house abutting to our condos cut branches off our trees, leaving half a tree standing. We can only assume he took action because the branches were overhanging the condo fence by 6 inches into his yard. He dumped the branches he removed into our yard. It was a hatchet job. We to have our landscaper trim the trees so the trees would not die and remove the debris. Same situation occurs when city owned trees die and break apart or tree branches fall to the sidewalk in front of our property. We pay to have them removed so they do not become a pedestrian hazard.

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