Today’s Editorial January 07: A new holiday tradition

For many families, buying a real Christmas tree is an annual holiday tradition, as is decorating the tree and placing brightly wrapped gifts under it.

Many of those Christmas trees have come down now and most of the ones left up will come down shortly. But where will those dying trees go now?

Hopefully, everyone who bought a real Christmas tree this year knows about the recycling project coordinated by the Department of Environmental Health.

For several years now, the DEH has put containers for real trees in several places around Grand Cayman. This year, residents have until 18 January to take their trees to these containers.

After collection, DEH puts the trees through a mulcher and gives the mulch away to the public. Mulch has a variety of gardening and landscape applications and the DEH’s programme creates a way of recycling Christmas trees – bought originally for traditional ornamentation purposes – in an environmentally useful and friendly way.

The mulch is provided free of charge; all residents are asked to do is bring their own shovels and bags to collect it on the morning of Saturday 19 January at the George Town cricket field.

Many residents think they can just toss their real Christmas trees by the side of the road or in the dumpster at their condominium development and the DEH will pick it up. This is incorrect. But even if it were correct, the George Town Landfill does not need the additional bulk of Christmas trees, especially when they can be put to good use elsewhere.

We urge all residents who bought real Christmas trees, and who have not already done so, to take it to one of the five DEH collection sites. All lights and tinsel should be removed from the tree first.

DEH containers are located at Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay; the George Town cricket field; the Spotts Dock; at the entrance of Frank Sound Road near the Frank Sound Landing; and in front of George Dixon Park in East End.

For those who prefer to put up real Christmas trees, recycling them should become an annual part of the holiday tradition here.

And while we’re at it, the DEH is encouraging all residents to make recycling a part of their daily routine the whole year round. With the planet facing increasing problems with diminishing natural resources and increasing waste, we all need to do what we can to help.