San Francisco curbside Christmas tree collection kicks off next week

Cindy Chew/Special to The S.F. ExaminerFrom left

Cindy Chew/Special to The S.F. ExaminerFrom left

San Francisco’s annual Christmas tree recycling program will start next week, city officials announced Wednesday. Residents can leave their trees curbside for pickup.

The “treecycling” was announced at a news conference in Civic Center Plaza, where officials from the Department of the Environment and Recology inserted more than a dozen trees into a chipper.

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Curbside collection will be offered from Wednesday to Jan. 15.

Trees should be cleared of all decorations and debris, and they must be placed next to trash bins by 6 a.m. on a resident’s regular trash pickup day. Any tree that’s more than 6 feet tall must be cut in half, city officials said.

The trees will be chipped at Recology’s recycling center at 501 Tunnel Ave., and the chips will be converted to boiler fuel used for generators at the center, said Bob Besso, Recology’s recycling program manager.

While other plants can be converted to compost, Christmas trees do not fall into that category, Besso said.

“They’re too acidic,” he said.

San Francisco collected about 562 tons of Christmas trees last year and is in its 26th year of the program, according to city officials.

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