Tree pickup, bag-tag increases start next weekStarting Monday, Jan. 5, and continuing through Friday, Jan. 16, Waste Management will pick up discarded Christmas trees from its customers in the River Falls area.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
Starting Monday, Jan. 5, and continuing through Friday, Jan. 16, Waste Management will pick up discarded Christmas trees from its customers in the River Falls area.
Mark Schiltgen, WM’s local transfer station manager, said people can put their trees out along with their trash, either with or without a plastic bag around the tree.
He said it’s best to have the tree out by the resident’s regularly scheduled trash day.
Drivers will come through in trucks to pick up the trees then take them to WM’s Weyerhaueser landfill that produces methane gas to make electricity.
Shiltgen said the energy-producing landfill provides a good alternative to recycling trees via mulching.
He said Christmas trees are often treated with chemicals to make them greener, keep them fresher or both. People frequently leave the decorative tinsel on them, too.
Both situations made for big mulching challenges. Schiltgen says taking them to the landfill provides folks a way to dispose of their trees in an environmentally friendly way.
He says the Weyerhaueser plant now produces enough energy to power 5,000 homes in a year. Waste Management obtained the DNR’s approval to dispose of the trees there.
The company does not charge extra for the service. The only factor that could affect tree service is if the city gets significant snowy or icy weather.
The cost of “additional refuse” tags increases Jan. 1 from $1.55 to $2.05. People can buy the special stickers at Dick’s Fresh Market, EconoFoods, Lund’s Hardware or City Hall.
Usually people need the tags if they have more trash than their receptacle will hold. The standard-sized rolling bin most customers have is a 35-gallon receptacle.
Customers can bag the extra refuse, put a sticker on the bag then set it out with their container.
Shiltgen said technically, any additional bags shouldn’t weigh more than 30 pounds, but Waste Management is somewhat flexible.
The site manager said the general rule is that “as long as the driver can lift it,” WM won’t consider the size excessive.