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Boy Scouts and goats would like your cut Christmas tree

When Tannenbaum's time is done, here's how to dispose of it responsibly.

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By Theresa Goffredo
Herald Writer
  • Here's one way to get rid of your Christmas tree: feed it to a goat. Here, Storm chews on a tree at New Moon Farm Goat Rescue and Sanctuary in Arlingt...

    Ellen Felsenthal Photography

    Here's one way to get rid of your Christmas tree: feed it to a goat. Here, Storm chews on a tree at New Moon Farm Goat Rescue and Sanctuary in Arlington. The goats munch on the needles, bark and small branches.

Are the needles falling like snowflakes in a blizzard at your house?
Then it probably is time to think about recycling your cut Christmas tree.
You can give that tree a second life and give the Earth a present by composting or chipping the tree for landscaping materials, rather than dumping it in the landfill.
Before you recycle, however, remove anything that won't break down naturally, such as lights, tinsel and ornaments. Flocked trees -- those with fake snow -- cannot be recycled and should be disposed of as garbage.
Here are some cut Christmas tree recycling options in Snohomish County:
Boy Scouts of America: Local Boy Scout troops have made Christmas tree recycling a tradition -- and a service project called Operation Dry Needles -- by offering curbside or drop-off tree recycling for Snohomish County residents in most urban areas.
This year, the big date to remember is Jan. 7.
That's when most troops need you to either drop off your tree at a specified location or have it ready at the curb for pickup.
Go to to see what the troops are doing in your neighborhood.
Suggested donations to the Boy Scouts for tree recycling typically runs from $5 to $20, in person or by mail. For more information call 425-338-0380.
For south county: Boy Scout Troop 300 of Edmonds plans to recycle trees at Top Foods, 21900 Highway 99, and Westgate Elementary School, 9601 220th St. SW, on two days in January.
The troop's main fundraiser is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 7 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 8. A cash donation of $10 per tree is suggested. Proceeds help to offset the cost of camping trips.
Everett Community College: Free holiday tree recycling is available at Everett Community College between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays Jan. 3 to 30.
Trees must be free of decorations, tinsel and other nonbiodegradable materials. No flocked trees will be accepted.
Everett Community College is at 2000 Tower St. in Everett. Drop off trees in the marked area by Glacier Hall in parking lot F. To see the location of parking lot F, go to and click "Campus Map."
EvCC has been recycling holiday trees since 2009. In 2010, EvCC collected nearly 200 trees that were turned into woodchips on site and used for campus flower beds and mulch projects.
For more information, call 425-388-9100.
Goats: Don't forget: Goats eat just about anything, but they love to eat Christmas trees.
So bring this treat to New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary in Arlington where they are accepting cut-tree donations once again this year.
The goats relish Christmas tree foliage as a welcome break from their daily diet of hay, said farm owner Ellen Felsenthal. Goats eat evergreen tree needles, bark and the wee branches.
Cut-tree donations will be accepted this year by appointment only at the farm at 19111 Burn Road, Arlington. See or call 425-791-4513 for more information or to set up an appointment.
Garbage haulers: Many garbage and yard waste haulers will recycle trees for a small charge, usually about $5, if you put them out on the curb on select days.
Check with your hauler. If you don't know who your hauler is, go to and search "garbage haulers," or call 425-388-3425.
Customers with yard waste service can also cut Christmas trees down into manageable pieces and put them in their yard waste bins for free recycling.
Compost facilities: Residents can also drop trees off at local composting facilities such as Pacific Topsoils, which has multiple locations in Snohomish County that will accept trees for $3 each. See or 800-884-7645.
You can also search to find other composting facilities in your area.
Snohomish County Solid Waste: Snohomish County will accept Christmas trees for $5 per tree, flocked or not, at its three transfer stations through March 31. Search "solid waste" at for transfer station information or call 425-388-3425.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;
Story tags » RecyclingChristmas

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