On Sunday 5 January, thousands of residents throughout Dacorum recycled their Christmas trees for free at chipping points throughout the Borough.
The annual recycling day, which has been running in Dacorum for 24 years, allowed families to give their festive friends the chop at chipping points which were set up in Hemel, Berkhamsted and Tring.
People waved farewell to their trees as they watched the chipper in action. The chippings were then available to take away to reuse in their gardens as a weed preventative. The remaining chippings will be recycled into compost ready to eventually be returned to the soil to help new plants to grow.
Several people brought in trees which were still alive and potted in soil with their roots intact. These trees were not chipped and instead were kept to the side. Ten were rescued by fellow residents who took them for a new life in their gardens, whilst the eight others have been saved so that they can be planted around the borough by the Clean, Safe and Green team. The Council encourages all residents that if they have a Christmas tree that is still alive and has its roots, not to dispose of it, but either keep it in your garden ready for next year or offer it to someone else who will be able to give it a good home.
Local Scout groups ran a tree collection service for any residents who were unable to bring their trees to a chipping point themselves. Scouts from Berkhamsted, Tring, Potten End, Kings Langley, Gossoms End, Northchurch, Wilstone and Long Marston all pulled together, working hard to collect trees from their local areas and bringing these along to chipping sites by the truck-load. All-together the scouts collected nearly 2400 trees!
Members of the public visiting the Hemel site at Cupid Green Depot, also had the rare opportunity of witnessing the mountains of recycling which had been collected in just the past few days. Over the three week festive period (the weeks before, during and after Christmas), Dacorum residents threw away a total of 2250 tonnes of waste! This is up a shocking 10% on what was disposed of over the same festive period last year! Nearly two thirds of this waste was recycled in either blue-lidded bins or food waste caddies. However, a third of this was disappointingly disposed of in the grey bins where it is then sent to landfill and incineration, when much of it is likely to have been recyclable.
For 2020, why not make an eco-friendly resolution to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ as much as you can this year? The Council’s Green 2020 page is full of useful hints and tips to help you develop some habits that are better for the environment: www.dacorum.gov.uk/green2020.
If you missed the Christmas tree chipping day, you can still recycle your real Christmas tree at the Household Waste Recycling Centres in Eastman Way in Hemel Hempstead or in Northbridge Road in Berkhamsted. Trees must not be left at any of the Borough’s other recycling sites as this will be treated as fly-tipping. Alternatively, you can cut up your tree and store it in your green bin ready for garden waste collections to begin again in the Spring.
For more information and advice about recycling visit: www.dacorum.gov.uk/recycling.