Christmas tree recycling event set for Jan. 13-14
By THE STAR STAFF
Natural and Environmental Resources Secretary Anaís Rodríguez Vega announced on Sunday the establishment of a pine tree recycling center so that citizens who have natural Christmas trees can contribute to recycling.
The activity will be held on Friday, Jan. 13 and Saturday, Jan. 14 at the South Botanical Garden of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in Río Piedras from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. There, in a joint effort, personnel from the UPR, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and the Municipality of San Juan will receive and process the trees.
“Every year thousands of families go out to buy their Christmas tree in the spirit of decorating it for the enjoyment of children and family. That same spirit must remain to disassemble it and take it to be recycled,” Rodríguez Vega said in a written statement. “This is how we are contributing to the environment because the processing of trunks and trees is used for composting, for fill at recreational areas and for prevention of soil erosion. We encourage citizens to activate and collaborate with us to prevent clandestine dumps and illegal burning.”
Maribelle Marrero Vázquez, the interim director of the Botanical Garden, said people who bring their trees for recycling will be able to do so in a quick and efficient procedure.
“It will be a light process in which the tree unloaded from the car and crushed, citizens receive information and can even take shavings, which is the material product of crushing and with which compost is made,” she said. “It is necessary to maintain the humidity of the land, useful for the creation of landscape gardening and also used as a natural fertilizer.”
The drop-off of natural pines, which must be without lights or ornaments, will be handled in a drive-through fashion, so people will not have to get out of their cars. Trained personnel will take care of them once the person arrives at the Botanical Garden in Río Piedras. The recycling event will be offered free as a service to the community.