The holidays are officially over, which, we know, is a truly “bah humbug!” sentiment. The grandparents have returned home, you’re back at work, the kids are masked and headed to school again, and it’s time to take down your Christmas tree.
And while you could easily just leave your tree out on the curb—most of you still have time to set out your bulk trash in the city of Dallas—that isn’t the most sustainable option.
“If it goes to bulk collection, it ends up in a landfill, and just adds to our landfill space,” says Cheryl Schuldenberg, managing director of Turn, a local concierge composting service.
Founded by Dallas native Lauren Clarke in 2018, Turn provides composting buckets to clients. Fill it up with food scraps and other compostable items, then the company will pick it up and give you a new bucket. Turn will also recycle your Christmas tree for you.
You can still leave your tree out on the curb, but first schedule a pick-up time online. The company is offering the service from January 4 to January 28 across 34 DFW zip codes. Turn will come out and pick up your tree, mulch it, and put it back into the company’s composting piles.
Mulch adds nutrients to help break down food waste in composting, Schuldenberg says. The process “takes food scraps and yard waste, the green and the brown, and then water’s needed along with air to help all of the microbes break down all of the waste.”
While sending your tree to a landfill isn’t the biggest crime against the environment, it will take years for it to actually decompose there due to lack of oxygen, according to Popular Science. Recycling it is better, even if you don’t compost it.
“Mulching and spreading is probably best,” Schuldenberg says. Or you could toss it in a local pond or lake to create shelters for fish (just check with your local officials before chucking any tannenbaums into White Rock Lake). Or you could even drop it off at Bonton Farms, 6915 Bexar St., where your dying tree can find new life as a goat’s breakfast.
But composting is a good natural additive to any soil or plant, Schuldenberg says. “It’s like a vitamin that we would take because it has so many nutrients in it that the plants and grass and everything that grows thrives off of it.”
Turn’s curbside tree pickup service costs $25, or you can drive out to Garland on Saturday, January 8, and drop your tree off for free at Texas Tree Surgeons, 196 South International Rd. Just be sure to remove any inorganic materials, Schuldenberg says, like ornaments and flocking, as those items won’t break down in a compost bin.