Christmas has been and gone and whether you’re clinging on to the last of the festive season or looking forward to it all being over, at some point, you will have to take down your tree.
If you’re got an artificial tree, it is just a case of hiding it away for next year but getting rid of a real tree needs a little more thought.
There are few things sadder at this time of year than the dying trees lining the streets but it’s important to dispose of them responsibly and make sure that they are recycled.
Luckily, we have some tips and advice on how to dispose of your Christmas tree this year.
When should you take it down?
Traditionally, Christmas decorations stay up until the 12th night, which is on 6 January. Others prefer to take them down on New Year’s Day as it means you can embrace the festive season and get everything clean and tidy before you head back to work.
Some people like to take them down even before the year has ended, especially if your tree is looking a bit worse for wear.
There’s no right answer on when to take your tree down – do it when you want to and when you have time.
How to get your tree ready for recycyling
Remove all decorations and put them away for next year. You might need to cut your tree up to get it out of your house – just make sure you put it all neatly on the pavement if you are having it collected. It might also be easier to chop it up if you are putting it in the car to take it to a drop off point.
Lots of councils have collections available or drop off points where you can take your tree for recycling. Check your local council website for details of what the facilities are in your area.
If your councils don’t have a free collection, they may offer a bulky waste collection where they will collect extra rubbish for a fee. You can club together with neighbours and maximise the number of items allowed so you can split the cost.
In some areas, local charities will arrange collections for a small fee with all the money going towards fundraising.
Put it to good use at your local zoo
Some local zoos are also collecting Christmas trees for animals to play with after the festive season is over.
Some of the zoos collecting this year include Banham Zoo, Belfast Zoo and Birmingham Zoo.
If your local zoo hasn’t announced their plans yet, it’s worth giving them a call to ask if they will accept the tree.
It might be a little further than your local collection but they can be lost of fun for the animals.
Make something out of it
Before you throw away your whole tree, you can use some of it to make a cleaning spray.
Theearthfriendlyway blog recommends collecting a few handles of pine needles and adding them to a jar. Pour white vinegar on top.
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Store in a cupboard for a few weeks and then strain and pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Fill half the bottle with the vinegar and the rest with water.
Apparently it’s a great multipurpose cleaner but not for natural stone and wood.