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Recycling through Mulchfest, another purpose for holiday trees

State Senator Brad Hoylman tackles a big tree.
State Senator Brad Hoylman tackles a big tree.
(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Say fir-well to your holiday tree at NYC Parks! 

On the northern end of Washington Square Park, the stacks of former Christmas trees are piling up. Mulchfest is in full swing through Jan. 9, a chance to recycle your holiday tree.

These trees that bring seasonal joy continue their importance when collected, chipped and turned into precious mulch—organic matter spread around or over plants that enrich or insulate the soil.

Acting Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson, flanked by local electeds,  gathered at the Washington Square Park arch to celebrate Mulchfest 2022.   They encouraged New Yorkers to drop off their trees with the motto:  Say fir-well to your holiday tree at NYC Parks! 

This year, Jan. 8 and 9 will be Chipping Weekend, when New Yorkers can actively mulch their holiday trees and bring home a bag of mulch.

Trees piling up in Washington Square Park ready for the chipper.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
New Council Member Chris Marte –hands-on, while Boro President Mark Levine feeds the chipping machine.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
State Senator Brad Hoylman feeds te chipping machine.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Parks Acting Director is hands-on too.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Drop-off and Chipping Sites

The lower Manhattan chipping sites or drop-off only are:  Stuyvesant Town, East 20th Street at 20th Street Loop, east of First Ave.; Tompkins Square Park,  E. 7th St. between A & B; Union Square Park, Union Square E.  between E. 16th & E. 17th, drop-off only;  Washington Square Park, 5th Ave. & Washington Square North, Corlears Hook Park, Jackson St. & Cherry St., drop-off only; The Battery, Greenwich St. & Battery Pl.,  drop-off only. 

Parks will chip your tree and give you your very own bag of mulch to use in your backyard or to add to a winter bed for a street tree.  

Council Member Chris Marte reved up those at the launch, “Who’s ready for Mulchfest! It’s about education and fighting climate change.  We have to do every little thing whether it’s recycling a tree, cans or bottles, to how we interact with our earth.”

Council Member Erik Botcher admitted it was his first Mulchfest as a Council Member but he is ‘branching out.’  “It’s very important to recycle our organic waste,” he said encouraging people to bring their trees to a nearby park.

Parks and DSNY have been collecting and mulching trees for over 20 years, the mulch finds its way to planting beds and community gardens around the city. 

Mulch deters weeds, retains moisture, prevents compaction, and adds nutrients to the soil, and keeps roots warm. 

DSNY Curbside Collections

Weather permitting, the NYC Department of Sanitation will be conducting curbside collections for mulching and recycling of Christmas trees from Thursday, January 6 through Saturday, January 15, 2022. 

For more info: www.nyc.gov/parks/mulchfest.

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