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Ever since we have been here we have put our out tree for recycling. Only one year was it not picked up.

A decades-old Christmas tree recycling project will relaunch in January in four New Orleans area parishes, part of a broader effort to restore Louisiana’s coast.  Orleans, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Tammany have for over 30 years used natural fir, pine and spruce trees to buffer shorelines. In Jefferson Parish, Director of Ecosystem and Coastal Management Michelle Gonzalez said the project has helped slow coastal erosion considerably. “In the 20 years before Ida… where we don’t have any trees had lost 70 acres,” Gonzalez said. “Where we had trees had only lost four acres.”

Each of the four parishes decide on where to use them.

Each parish will decide where they use their trees to buffer the Louisiana shoreline. Jefferson Parish has long placed its trees in the Barataria Basin, using boats to bring them to the shoreline. Orleans Parish, meanwhile, often has the Louisiana National Guard airlift its trees to Bayou Sauvage before using boats to position them in that area.  The trees help stop erosion by blocking waves and capturing sediment. They also help to build a habitat and provide food for fish, birds, reptiles, mollusks and crustaceans. “Because (the trees) create this linear barrier, it’s creating places for fish and crabs to grow,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve heard the fishing’s really great near our Christmas tree coast, so it’s got multiple benefits.” In the past three decades, Jefferson Parish has built over 1,300 feet of wave dampening fences made with the trees, which protects 2,000 feet of shoreline in the Barataria Basin. In Orleans Parish, the program has replenished approximately 175 acres of wetlands in Bayou Sauvage. Each parish is asking residents to remove ornaments, lights and tinsel from trees before offering them for recycling. The parishes cannot accept artificial trees or those that have been painted or flocked. People should also remove trees from their stands, and avoid placing them in bags. 

Here is the schedule.

Orleans: Jan. 9 through 14 before 5 a.m. on regular trash collection day. For the French Quarter and the Downtown Development District, Jan. 12 before 4 a.m. on regular collection day.  Jefferson: Jan. 12 through 14 on regular collection days.  St. Charles: Jan. 9 through Jan. 26. Residents can also drop off trees at the east and west bank bridge parks through Jan. 26.  St. Tammany: Trees will be accepted for drop off only through Jan. 28 at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds at 1515 North Florida St. in Covington, and the Old Levee Board property at 61134 Military Road in Slidell. 

Get yours out as this is a win-win situation. Your tree is gone and the environment benefits,

Recycle your Christmas tree
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