Southeastern Louisiana University says discarded Christmas trees can be dropped off and used for wetland restoration rather than throwing them out with the trash.
Rob Moreau, manager of Southeastern’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station located on Pass Manchac between Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas says old Christmas trees can help our area marshland while also reducing the waste stream going into landfills. Although grant funding from the state for Christmas tree recycling in many areas ended years ago, local partners stepped up to keep the project going. This marks the 26th straight year Southeastern has conducted its recycled tree program. Moreau depends on volunteers and students to deploy the trees in the Manchac wetlands, and those groups were in short supply last year due to the pandemic. Therefore, he relied more on the Turtle Cove staff, mainly graduate students, to deploy the trees in various areas of the Manchac Swamp. It is estimated that approximately 40,000 trees have been deployed through the Southeastern program during the 26-year period.
Trees can be dropped off beginning Jan. 4 through Mardi Gras from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hammond Maintenance facility, located at 18104 Hwy. 190 next to Piggly Wiggly Supermarket. Trees should be dropped off using the gate on Falcon Drive next to Piggly Wiggly. The Southeastern Sustainability Center, located at 2101 North Oak Street, will collect trees beginning Jan. 6 through the end of the month from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 to 10 a.m. on Friday. Moreau said a Turtle Cove trailer drop off site will also be maintained at Middendorf’s Restaurant beginning Wednesday, Jan 6, so customers going there can also drop off trees.
No flocked trees will be accepted, and all trees should be stripped of any ornaments, lights, tinsel, stands and nails.