'Tis the day after Christmas and all through your house
Tree needles are everywhere, some stuck to your spouseThe smoke alarms wait for the fumes to appear
From the boughs of ole Tannenbaum, quaking in fear.
The goose has been cooked. The kids have broken all of their toys. The holidays are ringing to a close. It all adds up to one thing: Time to get rid of that Christmas tree.
"How do I do it?" you ask.
Well, if it's an artificial tree, put it back up in the attic, silly.
But if it's a real live dead one, disposal is a bit more problematic.
In the olden days, you simply hauled it out to the back forty, shot it and let it rot. Or maybe you burned it in the fireplace. Or maybe you just stuck it on the curb for city crews to manhandle into the bowels of a garbage truck.
Today, all those methods are discouraged. For one thing, most people's back forty is now a subdivision. Burning the trees is a no-no, given the state's problems with air pollution. And sending vegetation to the landfill these days is about as environmentally correct as dumping antifreeze into the gutter. (You don't dump antifreeze in the gutter, do you?)
Fortunately, many enlightened communities and other human groups have come up with ways to properly dispose of your Christmas tree - by chipping it into mulch.
The following is a list of places to take your tree, which, for the safety of the chippers, should be free of foreign objects, such as light strands, tree stands, ornaments and cats:
Salt Lake County
Draper - West side of Draper Park, 12430 S. 1300 East, or City Hall, 12441 S. 900 East. Also, the Division of Sovereign Lands and Forestry's Lone Peak Conservation Center will accept old Christmas trees from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 7 at 14650 S. Pony Express Road. In exchange, the center will donate a seedling to an educational reserve.
Midvale - Leave trees at curbside for city crews to collect for chipping.
Murray - Main parking lot in city park, 5100 S. State.
Riverton - Fire station, 2700 W. 13000 South.
Sandy - City cemetery, 9120 S. 700 East.
South Jordan - Leave trees at curb for city crews to gather and take to landfill for chipping.
South Salt Lake - Leave trees at curb for crews to gather and take to University of Utah for chipping.
Salt Lake City - Leave trees at curb for crews to gather and take to University of Utah for chipping. Call 535-6605 for more information.
Salt Lake County (unincorporated) - Take trees to any of these parks: Big Cottonwood, 4300 S. 1300 East; Equestrian, 11059 S. 2200 West; Evergreen, 2230 E. 3425 South; Old Mill, 6400 S. 3100 East; Wheeler Farm, 6351 S. 900 East; Salt Pit, 3900 S. Wasatch Blvd.; Cottonwood Heights, 2415 E. 7600 South; Pleasant Green, 3250 S. 8400 West; Southridge, 5051 S. 4015 West; Valley Regional, 5100 S. 2700 West. Trees can also be taken to the Lone Peak Conservation Center, 14650 S. Pony Express Road. For more information, call 562-6409.
West Jordan - Take trees to any of these locations: old City Hall, 1850 W. 7800 South; swimming pool, 8125 S. 2200 West; public works complex, 8030 S. 4000 West.
West Valley City - Four locations: Glenn Weaver Memorial Park, 3650 S. 1950 West; city park, 4505 W. 3500 South; Woodledge Park, 5205 W. 4310 South; fire station, 4160 S. 6400 West.
The county's waste-to-energy incinerator, affectionately called "the burn plant," gladly accepts dead Christmas trees as fuel. Cities such as Clinton, Sunset, Clearfield and West Point will collect trees from the curb and take them to the burn plant. Residents of Layton and Syracuse, however, must take the trees to the burn plant themselves or cut them up in pieces small enough to fit in the garbage cans. The burn plant, 650 E. Highway 193, will take trees until Jan. 21 at no charge. Those who bring trees to the burn plant can enter a contest to win one of 50 Toro backyard composters.
Bountiful - Leave trees at curbside for city crews to haul to the U. for chipping.
Centerville - Leave trees at curbside on regularly scheduled trash pickup days.
Farmington - Leave trees at curbside for pickup on Jan. 14.
Fruit Heights - Leave trees at curbside for pickup on Jan. 14.
Kaysville - Cut trees into lengths less than 4 feet long and place inside trash containers.
Woods Cross: Leave trees on curb by Jan. 3 for pickup.
North Salt Lake: Leave trees on curb for city crews to recycle.
West Bountiful: Put trees in bins on north end of city park, 550 W. 1930 North, by Jan. 10. Elderly or handicapped residents should put their trees on curb by Jan. 6 for local Scout troops and city workers to pick up.
Alpine, American Fork, Lehi, Pleasant Grove, Highland - Cut trees into 3-foot lengths and leave them at curbside for Boy Scouts to collect.
Mapleton - Residents may take their trees to city recycling yard, 1600 W. 800 North.
Orem - Take trees to nearest city park. There will not be a curbside pickup. For more information, call Dean Nicholes, 229-7011.
Payson - Take trees to the southwest corner of the city center, 439 W. Utah Ave.
Provo - Place trees at curbside for collection by city crews. Do NOT put them in garbage cans. People living in apartments that use commercial garbage containers will have to make arrangements with landlords for tree disposal.
Spanish Fork - Leave trees on the curb before Jan. 6.
Salem, Santaquin, Springville - Leave trees at curb. Do NOT put in garbage cans.