A Three R’s New Year’s Resolution

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - December 30, 2009
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The year 2009 is almost over! Time for a fresh start. New Year’s resolutions, anyone?

I make them every year but pay them little mind. The idea is to make them, let them percolate in your mind and not let them rule you. But if you go back and look at lists you made in years past, you may find you’ve actually accomplished quite a few of them without even thinking.

That’s the beauty of these resolutions, I think. You know they’re important. Verbalizing or writing them down plants them deep into your subconscious mind.You think you’ve forgotten all about them, but in actuality you act on them whether you know it or not. They’re like “guidelines” for your life - things you think are important enough to list at least once a year.


Even if you think you break them as soon as you make them, I recommend writing them down and saving them. Pull them out years later and either have a good laugh or marvel at what you’ve accomplished.

And speaking of getting ready for the new year - before you go running around with a sparkler in each hand, remember that a fresh start means getting rid of the old.

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The tree.

You loved it, watered it, decorated the heck out of it, but now it’s looking sad. The needles are turning brown and brittle and most of them are littering the floor. The once-proud bearer of ornaments is now drooping, glass balls literally sliding off the almost naked branches and shattering on the floor and yes, you are too exhausted from partying (or too lazy) to sweep them up. It stopped “drinking” water long ago, a sure sign the poor old thing has given up completely and is ready to rest in peace.

But what do you do with it?

Good news: There is life after death for old Christmas trees. Recycle!

According to the city’s Web site opala.org, recycling your tree has never been easier. Click on Holiday Trash Tips if you want to know how to trash the trees.

“Remove all ornaments and tinsel (and no flocked trees). Place them at the curb for pickup on your regular every-other-week green waste collection day; drop them off at any of the City’s Refuse and Recycling Convenience Centers seven days a week or at the composting facilities.”

If you have regular curb-side recycling with those green carts, make sure you cut up your tree to fit inside the cart. That means pieces that are no more than about 3 feet. Trim branches to make sure the pieces fall out of the cart easily.

If you can’t be bothered to cut up the tree, take it to the nearest City Convenience Center.

If your house is on the city’s bag pickup system, cut up the tree (again, 3-foot lengths) and put the pieces out on the curb. Or if you just do not want to cut it up, take it to a City Convenience Center.

For a list and maps to the convenience centers, just go to opala.org and click on Services and Programs on the left side of the main page.

If, in the past, you’ve dropped off your tree at those special “treecycling” sites at parks, be aware that they don’t exist anymore.

“Do not bring your trees to these sites. Use curbside collection or look for the list of City drop-off sites.

Condos and commercial buildings can deliver large loads of trees directly to composting facilities - there will be no tip fee charge over the holidays for Christmas trees, courtesy of the City.”

Happy recycling. Put the three “Rs” on your New Year’s resolutions list - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

And Happy 2010!

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