Recycling Christmas trees has become something of a Shore tradition in recent years (and, in the case of Seaside Park, many decades) as more and more residents hope their holiday decorations can ultimately serve a second purpose.
This year, Ocean County has set up 15 donation sites where residents can bring their Christmas trees for recycling. Some municipalities use excess trees to shore up dunes, however the county uses the trees for several purposes – from wood chips to line the county’s parks, to dune protection on both the bay and oceanfront. Last year, more than 1,400 trees were collected at the Ocean County Park sites.
Wood chips, county officials said this week, are offered to residents, and are used for County landscaping projects or activities like slope stabilization at Ocean County Natural Lands sites and trail work throughout the Ocean County Park system.
“For more than 20 years, the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation has collected Christmas trees at a number of our parks throughout the county,” said Ocean County Commissioner Virginia E. Haines, who serves as chairwoman to the county’s parks department. “With so many park locations around Ocean County to choose from, it is easy for our residents to access a nearby park where live trees can be dropped off after celebrating the holiday.”
Christmas trees can be dropped off at the following Ocean County park locations from now through Jan. 31:
- Cattus Island County Park, 1170 Cattus Island Boulevard, Toms River Township
- Cloverdale Farm County Park, 34 Cloverdale Road, Barnegat Township
- Wells Mills County Park, 905 Route 532, Ocean Township
- Ocean County Park, 659 Ocean Avenue, Lakewood Township
- Beaver Dam County Park, 3430 Bridge Avenue, Point Pleasant
- Jakes Branch County Park, 1100 Double Trouble Road, Beachwood
- Mill Creek County Park, 11 Chelsea Avenue, Berkeley Township
- Enos Pond County Park, 330 East Lacey Road, Forked River
- Robert J. Miller Airpark, 901 Route 530, Berkeley Township
- Freedom Fields County Park, 1160 Route 539, Little Egg Harbor Township
- Patriots County Park, 485 Bowman Road, Jackson Township
- Stanley H.”Tip” Seaman County Park, 120 Lakeside Drive, Tuckerton
- A. Paul King County Park, 2 W. Bay Avenue, Stafford Township
- Ocean County Golf Course at Atlantis, 261 Country Club Boulevard, Little Egg Harbor Township
- Ocean County Golf Course at Forge Pond, 301 Chambers Bridge Avenue, Brick Township
In addition, Ocean County’s two regional recycling centers accept Christmas trees year round during regular business hours (7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday), as well as glitter-free wrapping paper and clean and dry cardboard boxes. Locally, the Ocean County Northern Recycling Center is located at 535 Oberlin Ave. South, Lakewood.
“Our recycling centers allow for residents to recycle a lot of the festive wrapping paper and boxes that would otherwise get thrown away,” said Ocean County Commissioner Barbara Jo Crea, liaison to the Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management. “Not only can trees be reused in a new form, but wrapping paper and cardboard boxes can also be reused.”