FAIRMONT - If you haven't taken your Christmas tree down yet, there's still time to get it recycled, but the deadline is Saturday.
"There are several drop sites in the county," said Billeye Rabbe, Solid Waste Coordinator for Faribault and Martin counties.
Trees can be dropped off any time at the Fairmont City Shop, 417 East Margaret Street, across from the Martin County Humane Society.
"Be respectful of the area and keep it banked up, so trees aren't scattered all over the place," Rabbe asked of people dropping off old Christmas trees.
Truman residents should have trees at the curb by 9 a.m. Saturday to be picked up by the Martin County Sentence-to-Service crew.
Trimont residents should have trees at the curb by 9 a.m. Saturday to be picked up by the Trimont Area Service Club. Trees can also be dropped off any time at the Trimont Greenhouse.
Sherburn/Dunnell residents should have trees at the curb by 9 a.m. Saturday to be picked up by the Sherburn Lions Club. Trees can also be dropped off any time at the Sherburn Nursery.
Welcome residents should have trees at the curb by 9 a.m. Saturday to be picked up by Martin County Sentence-to-Service.
"Everything is transported to Fairmont and the city of Fairmont chips them up and uses that as mulch," Rabbe said. "Not everybody has that equipment, but Fairmont does and is willing to help out."
It's a good alternative.
"People do have live trees and they don't want them burned someplace, so this way they are used in the parks department," Rabbe said.
She does have some tips before you get rid of the tree.
"Better strip the ornaments off and any wires," Rabbe warned with a laugh. "They're not chippable, so they'll have to be taken off."
The program is for live trees, but they can accept any live greenery, as long as it's stripped of anything extraneous.
The program wouldn't work without everyone's help.
"It evolved throughout the years," Rabbe said, adding it was started by Char Kahler years ago.
"Volunteers from different areas step up and help out; everybody doing their part," she said, cited the STS crew, and the folks at the Trimont Greenhouse and Sherburn Nursery.
Rabbe encourages everyone to use the recycling.
"I think it's a great program," Rabbe said.
Another program Rabbe mentioned was Recycle Your Holidays, sponsored by Step, Inc. The public can bring old holidays lights to many drop-off sites in southern Minnesota and Iowa.
"It's pretty much year round," said Sue Eisenmenger, executive director of Step, Inc.
For more information on the holiday lights, call (507) 238-4341.