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When it's time to take down the Christmas tree, county waste management administrators have two words of advice: recycle it.

For the third year, Harford's Bureau of Environmental Affairs is offering to grind used Christmas trees into mulch. In exchange, Harford residents will receive coupons that can be redeemed in April for free 3-year-old Norway Spruce seedlings. Compost also is available free of charge at the recycling sites.

"Last year we recycled 1,600 trees," said F. James Handshoe , chief of the county's division of solid waste management. "We'd like to see that number double this year."

Tree recycling centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 5, 12 and 19. The tree recycling centers are:

* Bel Air public works equipment yard, Route 22 near Bynum Pond.

* Festival Park, Howard and Franklin Streets, Aberdeen.

* Harford County public works equipment yard, Route 165, Jarrettsville.

* Havre de Grace public works equipment yard, rear of 395 Wilson Street.

* Scarboro Landfill, 3241 Scarboro Road, Dublin.

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