Howard County makes "Merry Mulch" of Christmas trees

Howard County is offering a free tree-recycling program for residents looking to dispose of their Christmas trees in an eco-friendly manner this holiday season.

The "Merry Mulch" Christmas tree recycling program, run by the county since 1993, has sent thousands of trees to a compost facility, where they are recycled into compost and mulch.

From Thursday, Jan. 2 through Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, Howard County residents can drop off their Christmas trees seven days a week, between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at one of the sites listed below.

County residents with curbside yard trim collection may also set their Christmas trees out on yard trim collection day beginning Jan. 2 and running until Jan. 17. Trees will not be picked up on trash collection days during this time for residents with yard trim collection.

All ornaments and decorations must be removed from the tree, and trees must be cut into less than four foot lengths and tied, although they do not need to be bagged. Each tree bundle should weigh less than 40 pounds.

Merry Mulch drop-off locations:

• Clarksville: Kendall Hardware, 12260 Route 108, and River Hill Garden Center, 12165 Route 108.

• Columbia: Cedar Lane Park, 5081 Cedar Lane, and Grandfather's Garden Center, 5320 Phelps Luck Drive.

• Elkridge: Rockburn Park, 5400 Landing Road.

• Ellicott City: Small Circuit Court parking lot on upper Court House Drive (just past Ellicott Mills Drive, on the right).

• Highland: Schooley Mill Park, 12975 Hall Shop Road.

• Marriottsville: Alpha Ridge Landfill Wood Waste Area, 2350 Marriottsville Road. (NOTE: landfill is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

• Savage: Savage Park, 8400 Fair Street.

• Woodbine: Western Regional Park, 14800 Carrs Mill Road.

After Jan. 17, county residents may continue to bring Christmas trees to Alpha Ridge landfill for recycling.

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