Lynchburg Public Works started clearing city streets of the last piney traces of the holidays Friday.
Christmas trees make for a slightly different trash haul than usual for the residential pickup crew, but “it makes the trucks smell real pretty,” laughed crew lead Damon Burford.
Areas of the city with trash collection Mondays and Tuesdays had their trees collected Friday, while areas with trash collection Wednesdays and Thursdays will have their trees collected next Friday.
Workers are coming in on Fridays they usually have off to collect the trees — they typically work 10-hour shifts Monday through Thursday.
Burford, who has been at public works for almost 17 years, said a few residences will hold onto their trees until June or so, when the trees are falling apart and harder to load onto trucks.
Jeremy Kline, refuse and recycling supervisor for the department, said workers are trying to engage residents they run into while they’re out. The department has proposed a single 90-gallon garbage can option for residents — an industry standard, according to Kline — and limiting the size and monthly pickup of brush and bulk collection.
“That way we can be as efficient as we can with the city resources to make sure we’re getting everything picked up, because right now we’re more reactive than proactive,” he said.
Once the trees have been collected, Kline said they’re dumped in with other brush that’s been collected and eventually turned into compost by a vendor who comes to the Concord Turnpike Convenience Center.
“What we’re trying to do is keep the loads as clean as we can with just the organic material,” he said.
Some sturdy Christmas tree wood might turn into baseboard for the convenience center office — part of a repurposing project Kline started to spruce up the space.
Residents can drop off their Christmas trees at locations within Miller Park, Riverside Park, Peaks View Park and at city recycling centers other than the River Ridge mall and Village Court Shopping Center up until Jan. 31.
Rachel Mahoney covers courts for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5554.