Archive for Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas trees given second life at former landfill north of Lawrence

What happens to your Christmas tree after it's recycled? It becomes part a make-shift nature habitat. Friday, Jan. 13 is the last day for curb-side Christmas tree recycling.

January 10, 2012


The ghosts of Christmas trees past rest in an old landfill several miles north of Lawrence.

Stll haven't gotten rid of that tree?

For anyone who hasn’t yet taken down their Christmas tree, the city will do another round of collection this Friday. Trees need to be on the curb by 6 a.m. and should not include any artificial items including tinsel, lights or tree stands. They also shouldn’t be wrapped in plastic bags or other material.

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For about a decade, the city of Lawrence has been hauling Christmas trees to a landfill that shut down decades ago. It’s a way to recycle trees and provide habitat for nearby animals.

Early this week the latest crop of trees, still smelling of pine, were dumped next to a long row of the skeletal remains from the trees of yesteryear, their brown branches barren of any holiday cheer.

This Christmas tree graveyard is actually a second life for the trees. Foxes, deer, coyotes, rabbits and eagles all roam the former landfill. Less than a quarter of a mile away from a bend in the Kansas River, the site is surround by land that has been reclaimed by cattails, native grasses, elms and cottonwoods.

Behind the row of decaying Christmas trees is a stack of debris from the 2006 microburst that hit Lawrence.

The piles of trees that were dumped on Monday will be spread out into long rows to provide space for animals to burrow.

“I’ve seen all kinds of wildlife here,” said Robert Morgan Sr., with the city’s solid waste division, who helped unload the trees on Monday morning. As Morgan drove away, geese could be heard honking in the distance.

The tree collection began last Friday as the city’s solid waste operators cruised the streets of Lawrence picking up more than 1,200 trees that were set out on curbs.

For Ann Basel it was a good day to go to work.

“The smell is very pleasant,” said Basel, who was operating the garbage truck. “It smells like you are in the woods.”

On the back of the truck were Jeffery Moten and James Parson. With one hand, Moten would swoop down to pick up a tree and toss it into the truck. A hydraulic lift pushed the trees farther back, crunching branches and releasing that distinctive pine scent.

“This is quite pleasant compared to the regular trash,” Moten said.

On Friday, the trash crews dumped the trees off at the city’s composting facility, where on Monday they were loaded into Dumpsters that could hold 40 yards of cubic waste. At least four of those boxes carried trees to the old landfill site.

In the past two years, more than 4,400 trees have been collected.


riverdrifter 6 years, 1 month ago

Rats are everywhere, man, including your walls. Just ask HP Lovecraft!

This is better than using them for fish cover. Studies showed that after just a few years the pine & cedar trees were largely disintegrated. Conversely, hedge trees last many years.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

Even the rats are terrified of Cthulhu!

kristeniswright87 6 years, 1 month ago

Christmas is a silly holiday that takes the devotion away from Jesus. I do not buy trees because they are being killed for a false celebration.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

"Christmas trees given second life at former landfill north of Lawrence"

The origin of an evergreen tree being used as a "Christmas tree" is an ancient pagan symbol of eternal life because it does not lose its green color in the winter, and so the juxtaposition of eternal life and a second life seems very odd to me.

As Christianity spread across the world, it was rather flexible in adapting pagan traditions into itself in order to become more acceptable to the populations that were being converted.

Among the first pagan traditions incorporated into Christianity was to celebrate Christmas on December 25. Long before, the Roman pagans had the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25.

And later, the pagan use of evergreen that was used to celebrate the 12 days of the midwinter Yule festival in the British Isles, thus "the twelve days of Christmas", was also incorporated from an old pagan religion.

The Christian custom of “kissing under the mistletoe” is a later synthesis of the sexual license of Saturnalia with the Druidic sacrificial cult.

Another relic of a pagan religion that can commonly be found in Christian celebrations is the use of rabbits and eggs that were used to celebrate celebrate the ancient fertility festival in the spring.

Conveniently, Easter also fell in the springtime, so they were also incorporated into the Christian Easter celebrations.

December 25, evergreen, rabbits, and eggs have absolutely no basis in any of the Christian scriptures.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

"The Real Story of Christmas"

Many of the most popular Christmas customs – including Christmas trees, mistletoe, Christmas presents, and Santa Claus – are modern incarnations of the most depraved pagan rituals ever practiced on earth.

pagan_idolator 6 years, 1 month ago

And now we know where the tradition of gingerbread men came from! Didn't know about the early abuse to Jewish folk. Learn something new everyday!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 1 month ago

Here's something to think about - to escape all that abuse, all you had to do was convert to Christianity.

How many Christians today would suffer such abuse rather than give up their religion and accept another? Personally, I don't think there would be very many.

Another thing to think about is that Judaism is all about morals and ethics, eternal life is rarely discussed. And, there is certainly no such thing as Hell in Jewish belief.

So, did Jesus die on the cross to obtain forgiveness for those that persecuted those that followed His own religion?

You know that had to be sinful. It seems to me that if there is true justice in the universe and there is a Hell, it has to be full of people that thought of themselves as Christians.

Luke Chapter 23, verse 34: And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments.

Alceste 6 years, 1 month ago

OMG!!!! Won't worker comp claims go up once the fox, coyote, possum, et. all start biting city workers? I know the Mayor Cromwell will form a task force to automate this process to protect the City from itself and escalating worker comp claims, eh? hahahahahahahahahhaa

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