State agencies collecting live Christmas trees for recycling


Your Christmas tree can continue to serve a useful purpose well after its lights and ornaments have been removed and stored away until next year.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will host their ninth annual Christmas tree recycling event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4, at the Capitol Market in downtown Charleston.

Over the years, thousands of live trees have been collected and placed in lakes across West Virginia to improve fish habitat. Each year, existing, rotting habitats are replaced by newly recycled trees and new habitats are created. The trees provide excellent hiding and feeding areas for fish and other aquatic creatures.

This year, the DNR will place trees in Beech Fork, Burnsville, Stonewall Jackson and Summersville lakes. To be accepted, all decorations must be removed from the tree, including ornaments, tinsel and stands. Those who drop off trees can enter their names into drawings for ski packages at West Virginia resorts.

The recycling event yielded close to 600 trees last year. The DEP’s Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP) program coordinates the tree recycling effort.

For more information, contact the DEP’s Sandy Rogers at (304) 926-0499, ext. 1004, or email


Tom Aluise