Christmas has come and gone, leaving behind mountains of wrapping paper and Christmas trees.
The township of Livingston will begin its annual Christmas Tree Collection program on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Residents may bring their trees to the curb for collection. Pickup will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Old trees not only cause a mess with fallen needles but are also a fire hazard. Between 2005 and 2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 240 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 13 deaths, 27 injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The trees collected during the month-long program will then be chipped up and ground into mulch, which will be made available to residents for pick up free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Last year's was a success with the town's Department of Public Works collecting 1,335 trees. In addition to helping the environment, the program was also benefical, as it cut down on garbage disposal costs because the town is billed by weight.
Tree collection ends Jan. 31, 2012. To schedule a pickup, call the DPW at (973) 535-7931.