UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Now that the holiday season is over, Eyewitness News spoke with the Solid Waste Authority in Utica about how to properly recycle your Christmas tree.

“A lot of the items that we have in our home that we consider waste or garbage are actually really valuable  so Christmas trees and other green waste,” said Samantha Brown.

Recycling Coordinator for the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (OHSWA) explains that green waste has energy that can be used for compost. Real trees are accepted at the Utica and Rome Eco Drops, and they all end up at the composting facility at the Utica location. Then, the waste is run through the grinder and breaks up into small pieces, and starts the process of composting.

“Which is Aerobic Digestion so after we chip it all up and put it in those long wind rows the more easy it is for microbes and bacteria  start to work away and make that compost,” said Brown.

It is important to remember that fake trees and wreaths are not accepted and are considered regular garbage items. If you’re unable to bring your tree to the facility, you can call your waste hauler to see if they are able to schedule a pick up appointment.