Crews with the Wheeling Division of Operations are collecting discarded Christmas trees from across the city through early February to be recycled for use on local trails.
Russell Jebbia, director of Public Works, said once crews pick the trees up, they transport them to an area at the old North Park landfill where the trees are run through a shredding machine.
He said workers are using the North Park location this year instead of the usual spots along Heritage Trail near Wheeling Hospital because of a hillside slip in that location.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
Wheeling Division of Operations employees Pat Calmbacher, left, and Jim Manning pick up a Christmas tree in the Edgwood section of Wheeling on Wednesday.
He said the slide makes it more difficult for the city trucks to get in and out of that site.
Jebbia said officials are asking residents to place their trees next to their regular garbage pick-up spot, where a crew can eventually get to it. Residents are asked to clean off all the decorations and plastic covers before disposing of their trees.
Jebbia said the decorations and plastic covers "gum up" the city's mulching machine. He said workers experienced a temporary break-down of the grinder earlier in the week because many trees still have decorations on them when placed at the curb.
"Last year, we collected around 1,700 trees. ... So far, we just started this week and we got 550 already," he added.
After being shredded, the trees' remains will be used as mulch on and around the trails.
Jebbia said artificial trees that are disposed of will be taken by the sanitation division during regular garbage pick-up.