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Don't toss your tree - recycle it

Every year, countless Christmas trees end up in landfills. But there’s a better way to take down the holiday décor while being environmentally friendly. Johnson County Parks and Recreation District will gladly take your tree off your hands at no cost.

Trees will be accepted through Jan. 31 at four collection sites throughout the county. They include:
• The parking lot at The Theater Theatre in the Park, in Shawnee Mission Park. A special entrance for tree disposal is located at 7710 Renner Rd., Shawnee
• The Heritage Park marina parking lot, 16050 Pflumm Rd., Olathe
• The north side of the parking lot at the marina at Kill Creek Park, 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe
• Big Bull Cree Park, at 20425 Sunflower Rd., Edgerton

Trees will be collected during regular winter park hours, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the exception of Shawnee Mission Park, which opens at 6 a.m. in the winter.

In 2017, close to 5,000 trees were recycled. Some of the trees received this year will be mulched for use on trails and in landscaping, while others will be used to improve fish habitat in district lakes.

No yard waste will be accepted—only Christmas trees. Wrappers should be removed from the discarded trees, as well as any remaining decorations, especially tinsel and other decorations made from mylar, shiny plastic or aluminum.

This free program is open to anyone, regardless of residency. For more information, call 913-888-4713. And for more information about recycling lights and wrapping paper, visit jocogov.org/dept/health-and-environment/news/2018/12/13/10858.