Residents whose New Year’s resolution is to be more environmentally friendly can get started by recycling their Christmas trees.

Residents whose New Year’s resolution is to be more environmentally friendly can get started by recycling their Christmas trees.

“Many Delawareans have been recycling their Christmas trees for many years and we encourage everyone to establish or continue this eco-friendly tradition,” said Bill Miller, program manager in the state Department of Natural Resources and Environment Control’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Section. “Recycling these trees that are a product of nature is a wonderful way of giving back to the environment.”

Several yard waste recycling facilities throughout Sussex County are accepting Christmas trees for recycling through Jan. 25 at no cost, so long as the trees are cleared of artificial decorations, including hooks, wire, tinsel and ornaments, as well as wood and metal tree stands.

Ken Adams of Stockley Materials in Georgetown said he’s so far received between 15 and 20 trees, which will be grinded into mulch and sold to local retailers and homeowners.

“Instead of disposing of the trees improperly, bring them to us so they can be reused,” Adams said, pointing to Delaware’s ban on yard waste disposal in state landfills. “The trees are biodegradable and throwing them away is just like filling landfills with milk jugs.”

Robert Tunnell III, of Blue Hen Organics, in Frankford said his company turns Christmas trees into compost.

“We mix a certain amount of carbon and nitrogen together to get an optimal ratio to start the composting process,” Tunnell said, adding the wood provides carbon while the pine needles provide nitrogen. “It’s an alternative process that turns waste into a useful product that provides great benefits to the environment.”

Dick Pack, of Grizzly’s Landscape Supply Service in Lewes, said he’s already received more than 100 trees, which are trucked over to Blue Hen Organics in large containers.

“We collect the trees because it’s a public service and [Blue Hen] is always looking for organic matter to put in their compost and soil blends,” Pack said.

Until 2011, Delaware State Parks sponsored a Christmas tree recycling program in conjunction with the state Division of Forestry.

“As recycling was never a part of Delaware State Parks’ mission, it was gradually phased out, with DNREC’s recycling team now partnering with commercial outlets and relying on both private and public yard waste drop-off sites for Christmas tree recycling,” said Michael Globetti, a spokesman for DNREC.

Anyone unable to transport their tree to a recycling facility is encouraged to contact their waste hauler or landscaper to coordinate a possible pickup.