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Village Christmas trees find a new life in 2021

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Dry and in some cases completely stripped of their branches and needles, one by one the desiccated conifers were fed through the wood chipper. Out sprayed a green and brown mélange, and the light early-morning breeze at the village Arlington yard facility carried the pine scent a few feet. It was an end for the Christmas holiday ritual objects, which two weeks out from the start of 2021, had outlasted their usefulness, or had they?

For the first time this year the village is repurposing the hundreds Christmas trees discarded by residents, and turning them into mulch, which officials say they plan to distribute to any residents who might want some in the coming week. Any leftover mulch would be used to fill low-lying or uneven ground on village properties, officials said.

Normally, sanitation workers mix the trees with the other agricultural waste, such as leaves and grass clippings, residents throw out on Wednesdays, and are hauled away at a cost by the pound, according to village Department of Public Works Supervisor Steve Acquavella. At roughly 1,500 discarded trees this year, he said the cost of removing them could have reached into thousands of dollars.

This time, however, they’re finding a new life in the village. So far, plans are for three pick-up locations residents can visit to pick up some mulch: by the pipeline village property on the west side of the neighborhood, Firemen’s Memorial Field and a yet-to-be-determined site in the Gibson area of the village. For exact place and pick-up times check the village website at vsvny.org over the next week for more information.