• Christmas Trees Lead Productive Lives After The Holidays - Friday, December 12, 2008 at
  • Big Wave Dave's Christmas Trees and green materials recycler Agromin are teaming up to spread the word, that with the help of Ventura and Santa Barbara County residents, Christmas trees will have a productive life long after the holidays.

    Approximately 70,000 to 100,000 cut Christmas trees are purchased from tree lots in the counties each year. After Christmas, the trees are collected from residences and recycled into soil products for use locally by agricultural operations, landscapers and consumers," says Bill Camarillo, CFO of Agromin, the green materials recycler for 19 Ventura and Santa Barbara cities. "In as little as 60 days, trees go from being the center of holiday festivities to mulch used on farmland and in gardens and landscapes."

    To help with the after-Christmas recycling effort, Camarillo says residents should be sure trees are free of ornaments, tinsel, nails and tree stands before placing them in green recycling bins. "Because of these efforts, your Christmas tree may be part of the mulch you use in your garden next spring or it may have helped grow lemons, avocados or strawberries on local farms," says Camarillo.

    Dave Lidren, owner of Big Wave Dave's Christmas Trees with lots in Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura, Moorpark and Santa Barbara, says the cut Christmas tree industry is part of the sustainable movement. "We receive our trees from Pacific Northwest farms so the natural forests are untouched," says Lidren. "For every tree harvested, growers plant one or more replacement trees."

    Lidren sees considerable green benefits of live Christmas trees when comparing them to artificial trees. "Live trees are all natural and are 100 percent biodegradable. Artificial trees are made of non-biodegradable plastics and metals," says Lidren. "While growing, live trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air; artificial trees are made of petroleum-based products that pollute the air. Live trees are recycled; artificial trees wind up in landfills and could take decades to decompose. Plus, live trees are a renewable resource while the petroleum used to make the plastic in artificial trees is a non-renewable resource."

    Lidren says any unsold trees from his lots are recycled. "Nothing goes to waste," says Lidren. An Agromin green recycling display will be at every lot, reminding shoppers that Christmas is just one stop in the trees' lifecycle.

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