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Recycling those Christmas trees

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The holidays are over for most of us, and decorations are coming off the trees. If you went green over the holidays, using LED lights and giving green gifts, recycling your old Christmas tree will help top off your green holiday efforts. If you were naughty and didn't do anything green -- Well, here's your chance to be nice in the new year.

Cutting up your tree and putting the bits in your green yard trimmings container might be the easiest way to make sure your tree will get recycled. However, not all of us are comfortable with chopping up wood.

The alternative is to take the tree to a drop-off site. In fact, Los Angeles residents who drop off their trees will receive tree seedlings and energy-efficient CFL bulbs, while supplies last, courtesy of the LA Department of Water and Power. Drop-off locations are all over Los Angeles; drop off dates are January 6-7 and 13-14, between 9 am and 4 pm.

If you're a Santa Monica resident, you may have seen big stacks of Christmas trees in some of the city parks and wondered what's going on. It turns out that four Santa Monica parks are designated tree drop-off sites. Drop off your tree at Clover Park (25th & Ocean Park), Douglas Park (Chelsea & Wilshire), Christine Emerson Reed Park (Lincoln & California), or Los Amigos Park (5th & Hollister) anytime during the month of January.

Alternatively, take your tree to the Santa Monica Transfer Station at 2401 Delaware Ave., Monday through Friday, between 6 am and 2 pm. Make sure you do it this month, however; come Feb. 1, the parks will no longer collect trees, and the Transfer Station will start charging for tree drop-offs.