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NEWS - Old Xmas trees to become compost

Jorge Rescala Pérez, the General Director of the Forest Protection Agency of the State of Mexico (Probosque), said Monday that during the Christmas tree marketing campaign in 2010, 170,000 trees were sold, generating an economic spillover of 55 million pesos.

In order that the trees continue to be useful, Probosque, a branch of the Agricultural Development Secretariat, is working on a program to collect the trees and turn them into compost. The program is seeking to collect 94,000 trees between January 7 and February 3.

Rescala recalled that the State of Mexico has 142 plots of Christmas trees planted on over 4,000 hectares in the municipalities of Amanalco, Almoloya de Juárez, Amecameca, Atlautla, Huixquilucan, Jilotzingo, Ocoyoacac, San Felipe del Progreso, Temoaya, Tenango, Temascaltepec, Timilpan, Texcoco, Tlalmanalco, Valle de Bravo, Villa Victoria, Xonacatlán and Zinacantepec.

Rescala said that each tree will be ground and mixed with other waste in order to create enough compost to fertilize up to ten other trees. He added that since 2005, between 10 and 15 percent of the trees collected are donated to artisans in the municipalities of Santa María Rayón and Chalco for the production of keychains, pencils, candles and toys. “We will do it again this year; 90 percent of the trees will be used for compost and 10 percent will be donated,” Rescala said.

Rescala said that the Christmas tree collection and transformation program this year has the support of several municipalities from the State of Mexico and Mexico City. He said people can call the Green Phone Number, 01 800 018 78 78, to ask for further information.

Rescala noted that recycling natural Christmas trees provides multiple benefits, as making compost reduces costs and reduces the use of natural substratum. Artisans are also benefitted, as they reduce their costs of production, gain employment and improve their income.

Through the Christmas tree collection program, he added, it is possible to promote a recycling culture among citizens, as it reduces the generation of waste by preventing trees from ending up in the trash, and it also reduces the emission of carbon dioxide.

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