By Scott Etkin
Mulchfest, the way to turn your spent Christmas tree into fresh soil, is back. From December 26th to January 8th, the New York City Parks Department has dozens of collection and chipping sites across the five boroughs where people can bring their trees to be recycled.
The Mulchfest locations closest to the Upper West Side are:
- Central Park:
- 106th Street and Central Park West
- 65th Street and Central Park West
- 81st Street and Central Park West (at the bridle path)*
- Riverside Park:
- West 83rd Street and Riverside Drive*
- Morningside Park:
- West 123rd Street and Morningside Avenue
Trees will be chipped at certain drop-off locations (the ones marked with asterisks above) on Saturday, January 7th, and Sunday, January 8th – turning your fir into food for trees in New York City’s parks. On these days, staff will be giving away bags of mulch “to use in your backyard or to make a winter bed for a street tree,” the Parks Department wrote in its announcement.
There are also volunteer opportunities to help spread mulch from Mulchfest around trees in NYC parks to insulate them from the cold weather.
Remember to remove all lights, ornaments and netting before dropping off your tree.
Mulchfest is an annual event that was launched in 1996. More than 50,000 trees were recycled last year, up from 29,000 the year before.
I could not help but notice this morning on my way to work that a number of our local tree salespeople did not dismantle their wooden scaffolds or dispose of (or at least pile up) the trees for Sanitation. A number of trees are still just leaning there against the 2×4’s. At some locations the plastic tree stands and plywood shacks are still there. They seem to have piled into their vehicles and headed north at midnight 12/25 leaving their unsold merch and ancillary trash behind. Moving forward live tree vendors should be required to post bonds to the city to cover their clean up costs.