Now's the time for one of the saddest of all annual rituals: taking down the†Christmas tree. It was just days ago that we decked, admired and photographed it. But post-Christmas, your tree has the potential for a significant after-life--it can be recycled and transformed into a source of energy, which takes minimal energy on your part.
On your regular garbage day, just put your bare tree on the curbside next to your trash and other bins. Recology, San Francisco's trash and recycling services company, will collect the trees, hack them into wood chips and sell them as biofuel, which will be burned to generate electricity. Wood chips can reportedly provide about 75 percent of the energy of coal.
Recology will pick up Christmas trees from Jan. 2 through Jan. 15, 2014. Trees should not be flocked, and decorations, lights, tinsel, stands and any other manmade materials should be removed. Do not stuff your tree into a plastic bag, which just adds work to the recycling process. If the tree is taller than 6 feet tall, Recology asks that you cut it in half.
You might be tempted to relegate your Christmas tree to the green compost bin--but don't. According to environmental experts, fir trees have too much acid to decompose properly with leaves, garden clippings and other run-of-the-mill compost