It's dull, dry and balding, and you want it out of your house. No, it's not your father-in-law - it's your Christmas tree.

Problem is, you don't know what to do with it once you take off the lights, pack away the decorations and bend your ornament holders back into paper clips.Whatever you do, don't throw the tree away. Recycle it by turning it into mulch. If you don't happen to have a wood chipper handy, let someone else do it.

"Mulch from Christmas trees can be used in a variety of ways by the various municipalities," said Joyce Leach, coordinator for the Salt Lake Valley Recycling Office. "By using trees that way, we keep them from taking up valuable landfill space."

Indeed, if only half of the households in Utah, Salt Lake and Davis counties have fresh-cut Christmas trees, 187,000 trees will be needling for a final resting place after the holidays. That's a sizable chunk of landfill space.

Most enlightened governments around the Wasatch Front have some sort of tree-recycling programs planned. Before sending your tree off to be recycled, be sure to remove all ornaments and tinsel. Otherwise, harm could occur to the chipping machine as well as the operator.Salt Lake County

Draper - Take trees to the west side of the city park, 12430 S. 1300 East.

Midvale - The city makes Christmas-tree collection part of its regular garbage-pickup service. Trees are mulched for city parks and gardens.

Murray - Pickup is through Jan. 8 at two locations: Murray Park, 296 Murray Park Ave., and Grant Park, 80 W. 6100 South. Trees are converted to mulch for city parks.

Riverton - Take trees to the fire station, 13000 S. 2700 West.

Salt Lake City - Street crews will pick up trees at curbside and take them to the University of Utah for chipping. After Jan. 1, residents can drop off trees at Rosewood Park, 1400 N. 1200 West; Fairmont Park, 2340 S. 900 East, and Lindsay Gardens, Ninth Avenue and M Street.

Salt Lake County (unincorporated) - Take trees to Big Cottonwood Park, north parking lot, 4300 S. 1300 East; Cottonwood Heights School, 2415 E. 7600 South; county highway salt pit, 3900 S. Wasatch Blvd.; Evergreen Park, 2230 E. 3425 South; Wrangler Trailhead, 10350 S. 1300 East; Hunter Park, north parking lot, 3600 S. 6000 West; Pleasant Green Park, 3250 S. 8400 West; Southridge Park, south parking lot, 5051 S. 4015 West; Valley Regional Park, north parking lot, 5100 S. 2700 West.

Sandy - The Parks and Recreation Department is operating a chipping program this year that will turn old Christmas trees into mulch for city parks. Drop trees at the city cemetery, 9120 S. 700 East.

South Jordan - Crews will pick up trees at curbside on Jan. 3-4 and take them to the county landfill for chipping.

South Salt Lake - Municipal garbage trucks will make special rounds to collect old trees at curbside. They will be taken to the University of Utah's arboretum to be converted into mulch.

West Valley City - From Dec. 26 to Jan. 10, take trees to Glenn Weaver Memorial Park, 3650 S. 1950 West; West Valley City Park, 4505 W. 3500 South; Woodledge Park, 5205 W. 4310 South; fire station, 4160 S. 6400 West.

West Jordan - From Dec. 26 to Jan. 10, take trees to old City Hall, 1850 W. 7800 South; the swimming pool, 8125 S. 2200 West; or the public works building, 8030 S. 4000 West.

Utah County

Orem - Trees may be dropped off in the parking lots at every city park; the Public Works building, 955 N. 900 West; and the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1000 S. 1700 West, by Jan. 10. They will be taken to the treatment plant and turned into mulch.

Provo - Place trees curbside. The city will pick them up for recycling between Jan. 3 and Jan. 21.

Springville - Place trees on the curbside. Beginning Jan. 3, the city will pick up the trees and take them to a chipper.

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Davis County

Bountiful - Place trees curbside and city crews will begin picking them up after Jan. 1. Trees will be taken to the University of Utah for recycling.

North Salt Lake - Place trees curbside and crews will pick them up from Jan. 3 to Jan. 10.

Woods Cross - Call city for information, 292-4421.

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