WFFD Chief reminds people to recycle Christmas trees, where you can dispose yours

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Christmas Day may have come and gone but many people will keep their Christmas trees up to keep the holiday spirit alive for a little while longer.

But for those who own natural trees, maintaining them may be put on the backburner which could create a dangerous situation for those living under your roof.

When it comes to Christmas time, people have varying opinions on a real versus artificial tree.

“Real tree for sure,” Dawn Robertson said.

Many love the authenticity of a naturally grown Christmas tree prompting them to keep it up after the new year.

“It looks way more pretty and they’re just full and they, you know, just take up more space and they just look like a movie set in our living room,” Robertson said.

While others may put the priority of the tree’s maintenance in the rearview mirror right along with the holiday season.

“The holiday is over and people kind of fall out of that rhythm of maybe keeping that tree watered and so it’s going to dry out pretty quickly. Without water and that dry Christmas tree inside the home near any kind of ignition source creates a real fire hazard,” Wichita Falls Fire Chief Ken Prillaman said.

Prillaman says having a dry tree near a fireplace or any ignition source, even one as small as a candle has resulted in extremely large fires.

“Nationwide when you watch the news you see a lot of incidents involving trees and particularly those that are dry. If you watch any kind of illustration it goes so fast and they burn so hot that it becomes almost impossible to stop that fire from spreading throughout the house,” Prillaman said.

With Wichita County under an indefinite burn ban, Prillaman says throwing your used Christmas tree on the curb or in your dumpster is not permitted

He says that’s why recycling your tree is the best option in the long run.

“It just makes sense for a community our size to have a location or a couple of locations so that our residents have a specific plan of what to do with their tree other than setting it on the side of the street, putting it in the alleyway or just letting it continue to dry out,” Prillaman said.

A sensible solution to keep everyone safe for the new year.

Prillaman says the trees will be used as mulch throughout city parks, meaning, you are in turn helping the environment.

The city’s sanitation and parks departments are teaming up to help dispose of those natural Christmas trees at a number of drop-off locations.

Here’s a list:

  • City Transfer Station, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • City Landfill, Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There is no charge for disposal for people who can show proof of residency in the city.

Lucy Park and Kiwanis Park will also be drop-off locations, 24 hours a day until Thursday, January 6.

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