We’ve seen the discussions about which is a more environmentally sustainable Christmas tree, artificial or real, but we wanted to find out exactly what happens to real trees when the holidays are over. We connected with Region of Waterloo Waste Management to find out what happens to our trees when they’ve reached the end of their useful lives and what we can do to make our evergreens ever green. Turns out, it’s pretty simple – all you have to do is put it to the curb. The Region of Waterloo runs its Christmas tree collection over the first two weeks in January, starting January 4, 2016 and running until January 15, 2016. Remove all the tinsel, lights, ornaments and the stand and put it out with your weekly blue box and green bin pick up. Don’t put it in a bag, and if it is over 1.2 metres or four feet, cut it in half. Region of Waterloo Waste Management staff will collect your tree with your green bin waste and – get this – turn it to compost! That’s right. They’ll turn your tree into compost. They’ll pick that tree up, mulch it down and then take it to a transfer station in Cambridge where it will be added to a 16-acre compost pile and once a week be lovingly turned until it turns into beautiful, nutritious compost that is FREE for the taking by the community. It takes about a year for it to break down but still – it means that next year your tree could be providing nutrients for the flowers and vegetables growing in your garden. How beautiful is that? It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Merry Christmas, everyone. Recycle that tree!