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Ideas for Recycling Real Christmas Trees

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Indiana DNR News Release: There are many ways to recycle Christmas trees, but tossing them on a frozen lake to create fish habitat may not be the best idea … and may require a permit from the DNR.
 
“Fish attractors tend to bring fish and fishermen together,” said Bill James, chief fisheries biologist for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “They provide cover but don’t necessarily grow more fish.”
 
Better options include taking the tree to a designated Christmas tree recycling site in your community, tossing it in the backyard to provide shelter for wintering birds, running it through a wood chipper to create your own mulch, chopping it up for firewood.
 
Discarding a Christmas tree on a private pond is at the owner’s discretion, but doing so on public freshwater lakes is governed by the Lake Preservation Act (Indiana Code 14-26-2) and Indiana Administrative Code (312 IAC 11-4-7).
 
Those two laws require a license from the DNR to construct or place a fish attractor in a public freshwater lake. To qualify, the fish attractor must be anchored to ensure proper setting and must not be placed in a channel, a beach area, near the lake surface or in an area that would adversely affect public safety and navigation, or adversely affect the natural resources or natural scenic beauty.
 
Three DNR divisions – Fish & Wildlife, Law Enforcement, and Water – have a role in reviewing and approving a permit request for placement of a fish attractor. If approved, the permit carries a $100 fee and requires the permit holder to remove any portion or portions of the fish attractor that become unattached.
 
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Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County News Release:
Valpo compost site to open Jan. 5 for Christmas tree, electronics recycling
Porter County – The Valparaiso compost site, 2150 W. Lincolnway, will begin Saturday off-season hours Jan. 5, for Porter County residents to dispose of their once live Christmas trees, wreaths and other organic holiday decorations. The 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday hours will continue through April when the site will open for the season.
Ornaments and lights should be removed before disposal. Other organic materials accepted at this site include yard waste, leaves, garden clippings, household plants, brush, limbs, logs and firewood. No grass or treated wood or lumber will be accepted.
Residents who received new electronics for Christmas can also recycle their unwanted electronics and electrical items at the compost site. Accepted items include: computers, monitors, televisions, typewriters, copiers, PDAs, VCRs, fax machines, microwaves, scanners, gaming machines, and anything with an electrical cord or run by batteries. Christmas light strands are also accepted.
Besides electronics and organic materials, residents can recycle other items at the compost sites, including household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs (tubes and CFLs), toner cartridges, media (CDs, video cassettes, etc.) and cell phones.
The site is owned and operated by the City of Valparaiso with assistance from the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County.
The Boone Groove compost site, 546 S. 400 W, will remain closed through April and is owned and operated by the District.
The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life for Porter County residents by providing convenient, voluntary waste reduction services.
For more information on the public compost sites, visit the District’s website, www.itmeanstheworld.org, or call 219-465-3694
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