Alternative uses for that old Christmas tree - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Alternative uses for that old Christmas tree

EASTERN IOWA (KWWL) -- As you spend the first day of 2010 taking down that Christmas tree, look at these ideas for recycling it before you just haul it out to the curb.

Some Eastern Iowa communities have some alternative uses for that pine.

In Cedar Rapids, you can give it new life at the Indian Creek Nature Center.

Just bring the trees to the parking lot at the Sac and Fox Bertram Road Trail head. The lot is open to those wishing to drop their tree off.

The trees will be chipped and used as mulch on the Indian Creek Nature Center trail system.

Trees should be un-flocked and free of all decorations, tinsel, tree trimmings, tree stand(s), nails and tree bags and can be dropped off through Sunday, January 31, 2010.

For more information, visit the

If you're in Johnson County you could let it swim with the fishes, literally.

That's right, the Johnson County Heritage Trust wants to use your Christmas tree as natural fish habitats in the Belgum Grove pond.

Fish use natural wood for laying eggs and as natural fish habitats.

All they ask is that you clean the tree of decorations, especially tinsel, and bring it to the Johnson County Heritage Trust Belgum Grove property located four miles west of Hills, on the south side of 500th Street (County Road F62).

There is a designated area for trees to be dropped off and they should be brought no later than January 8, 2010.

For more information, call 338-7030 or email

If you live in Dubuque, you can still bring the tree to the curb, but the city will turn it into compost through its "Merry Mulch" program.

The city will begin collecting natural Christmas trees, yard waste and food scraps for two weeks beginning on Monday, January 4, 2010 and ending Friday, January 15, 2010.

Residents should set out their trees, a maximum of eight feet high, yard waste and food scraps next to their garbage on their normal collection day.

Crews appreciate it if you cut very large trees in half, and it must have either one City Brush-Tie or one yellow City Yard Waste Sticker attached and visible from the street or alley.

City Brush-Ties cost $1.20 each and yellow City Yard Waste Stickers cost $6 for a sheet of five. Both are sold at City Hall and most grocery, discount and hardware stores throughout Dubuque.

Please remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel, wire, nails, stands and plastic bags from the tree.

Wreathes and garland contain too much wire to compost and flocked trees are not compostable.

You are asked to set these items out with your regular garbage and you must attach a green City Garbage Sticker to each of these items.

For additional information, please call the City of Dubuque Public Works Department at 589-4250.

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