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Christmas Tree recycling begins in Santa Barbara

The big tent has come down at Big Wave Dave’s Christmas tree lot in Santa Barbara, just two days after Christmas.

Now that the holiday is over, Owner Dave Lidren is getting ready to recycle all of the leftover trees from his 5 lots in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

“It’s about closing the loop,” Lidren said. “There is nothing better than our environment.”

On Thursday, a large truck from Agromin, a premium soil product company in Oxnard, picked up the trees and transported them to its facility where the trees are broken down into compost.

“It takes a 90 day reduction process and they put a lot of water on it and they heat it up and it naturally breaks down with a lot of science to it and a lot of testing,” said Lidren, who also works for Agromin during the off-season. “You come up with a clean product and that product can be reused.”

The compost is resold and used in gardens, along freeways and for landscaping.

“With the drought that we deal with, mulch is one of the key factors helping with the drought. It retains moisture,” Lidren said.

Lidren, along with his wife and family, have been in the Christmas tree sales business for 28 years.

With the recent purchase of a farm in the Pacific Northwest, 50 percent of the trees sold on his lots come from his own farm.

Lidren said that it’s a joy to see the trees come full circle; from the farm, to your home and then back into the earth.

Most local communities offer tree pickup for residential customers for a short period of time after Christmas. Those wishing to recycle a tree should consult with their local municipality for details on available pickups.

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