Recycling Christmas trees and Styrofoam blocks is a passion for the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance.
For more than a dozen years, the organization hosts recycling locations the first two weeks in January. Area residents can get their trees turned into mulch by LAM Tree Service and their Styrofoam recycled, so it can be reused in different products.
It’s a win-win for residents, the organization and the environment.
Last year, the organization saved 32 cubic yards of holiday trees from the landfill. according to Wendy Neuman, Evergreen Sustainability Alliance’s director of programs and operations. That is 45 tons of trees.
Neuman hopes ESA collects even more trees this year.
Annie Loechell, a new ESA board member and a former science teacher, was happy to volunteer to unload trees and bag Styrofoam on Jan. 6. She said she’s passionate about sustainability, and the recycling event is one way to help.
This was the first year that ESA hosted a recycling location on a weekday, and the line of cars was steady in the vacant lot across the street from the Evergreen King Soopers. Recyclers were happy to put a donation in the tub as they got rid of trees and Styrofoam.
They came in cars and trucks, walked over from nearby shops, and volunteers said one woman walked there with a shopping cart filled with Styrofoam and a tree on top.
Sam Anderson of Evergreen stopped by to recycle Styrofoam and said he likes to see events of this type continue because it’s more likely that items really are being recycled rather than being thrown in landfills.
“Organizations like this take it seriously,” he said.
The Styrofoam is taken to Golden Real Estate, which sends it to EcoCycle, a Boulder company that processes it into large blocks that can be turned into other items.
ESA was formed in 2010 to improve recycling, composting, and the availability of local and organic foods in the foothills. Among its many accomplishments, it started and operates two community gardens, organized a composting pilot program, provides zero-waste services and a refill station inside Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, and does community education and outreach.
There’s still time to recycle trees and Styrofoam. ESA will have two locations available for recycling from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Evergreen Lutheran Church, 5980 Highway 73, and at the vacant lot across from the Evergreen King Soopers.