Department Of Sanitation Commish Garcia: Just Put Them Out On The Curb And We'll Take Care Of The Rest

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Now that the holidays are officially over, it’s time to get rid of that Christmas tree.

The city’s Department of Sanitation is offering curb-side pickup starting Wednesday, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

The city Department of Sanitation will begin curb-side pickup of Christmas trees on Jan. 2, 2019. (Photo: CBS2)

What goes up must come down.

The end of the holiday season inevitably leads to Christmas trees dumped on city curbs. It was a surprising sight for Lisa Cawthorne, who was visiting from Lynchburg, Virginia.

“We saw one that was in a bag and put on the side, but we mostly just see them lying on the side of the street,” Cawthorne said. “It’s a very different world, very different world. You just don’t see Christmas trees lying on the side of the streets where I’m from.”

“The Department of Sanitation will start collecting Christmas trees if you put them on the on the curb Jan. 2 and will continue to the following weekend,” DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said. “We don’t collect them on a specific day, so don’t worry. Leave it out there and we will take care of it.”

With the mild start to 2019, the Department of sanitation is anticipating a much smoother cleanup than last year. In 2018, a massive snowstorm hampered sanitation efforts. Christmas trees piled up next to garbage buried under heavy snow. Tree pickup had to be extended an extra week.

“There’s no snow storm this year. Last year they were all over the place,” said Danny Vargas of the West Side.

Maya Ford said she put up a real tree this year, but wasn’t aware of the simple rule for disposing it: Leave the tree naked.

That’s right. All you have to do is make sure all the ornaments and all the lights are off and just put it at the curb, CBS2’s Sanchez reported.

Once the trees are picked up the city will chip them up into compost and mulch.

Vargas said for him it’s just easier to put up a fake tree.

“Put it in storage when you’re done. Clean up is faster. It lasts longer,” he said.

If your artificial tree is 4-foot or smaller you can throw it away in the regular trash. If it’s bigger, you’ll have to schedule a bulk pickup with the Department of Sanitation.

The live tree pickup runs through Jan. 12.