The comforting feeling of a fresh start to a new year – or in this case a new decade – that January brings is always a nice feeling. It’s officially time to work on your new year’s resolutions, and the conclusion of December’s holiday crazy has brought a sense of calmness. There’s just one problem. Your house is still decorated in holiday decorations, including the 6-foot-tall evergreen standing decoratively in your living room, adorned by this year’s ornaments. Unfortunately, it’s time to get rid of it. To make matters worse, you can’t put it out on the curb on trash day because the city won’t collect it. Lucky for you, there’s a number of local civic associations in South Philly that have you covered. One of them is the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association, whose second annual LoMo Christmas Tree Recycling Event is coming to the parking lot of South Philadelphia High School this weekend, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 4, and again on Sunday, Jan. 5, from noon to 3 p.m. According to LoMo at-large board member Chris Nevin, a wood chipper is provided onsite by Bartlett Tree Experts. The trees are grinded through the chipper, and the resulting wood chips will be used for the gardens on the north and south ends of Southern’s parking lot. But if you want, you can take your tree’s wood chips home with you and plant them in your own garden.
“They’re free if people want them,” said Nevin. LoMo requests a $5 donation per tree recycled, which will go toward the eventual opening of Carpenter Green Park.
“It’s a good way to give back to your local civic association whose representing your neighborhood,” he said. In fact, you’re killing two birds with one stone. Not only will you be helping out your local civic association, but you’ll be keeping trees out of landfills, which Nevin smartly calls “the least optimal way to recycle a tree.” As an extra bonus, LoMo will pick up your tree at your house when you sign up for a $15, auto-renewal annual LoMo membership. Important note, however: no wreaths will be allowed to be recycled at this event. According to Nevin, some wreaths have metal wires that couldn’t be detected, which wreaked havoc on some of the wood chippers.
For some, LoMo might not be your closest civic. Here are some other civic associations that are putting on their own tree recycling events:
South of South Neighborhood Association: SOSNA’s tree recycling event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 4 and 5, from 9 a.m. to noon at 1601 Washington Ave. All trees must be bare, which means no ornaments, metal or stands can be attached. Trees and greens of all shapes and sizes will be accepted, and a donation of $5 is suggested. SOSNA will also pick up your tree for a suggested donation of $20. All donations will go directly to Friends of Carpenter Green Park maintenance and programming for 2020. For more information, visit the civic’s Facebook event page.
Passyunk Square Civic Association/East Passyunk Crossing: These two civics will be holding a joint tree recycling event that’ll take place on Jan. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Capitolo Playground. A $5 donation is requested for your tree. For more information, visit the civic’s Facebook event page.
South Philly Green: South Philly Green is a collaboration of Newbold CDC, West Passyunk Neighbors Association and East Point Breeze Neighbors, and this is their second annual tree recycling event. They’ll also be partnering with Bartlett Tree Experts. The event will take place on Sunday, Jan. 5, from noon to 3 p.m. at Guerin Recreation Center. All decorations must be removed prior to drop-off. A $5 donation per tree recycled, which will go to both South Philly Green and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, is also requested. The organization will also be offering tree pickups for $15. For more information, visit the civic’s Facebook event page.