New Yorkers Who Dump Decorated Christmas Trees Could Face Fine

By Julie Shapiro on March 21, 2012 1:50pm 

New Yorkers drag their trees to be turned to mulch during MulchFest 2011.
New Yorkers drag their trees to be turned to mulch during MulchFest 2011.
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New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

MANHATTAN — The city's looking more like the Grinch these days — planning to fine New Yorkers who dump their Christmas trees on the curb with the decorations still attached.

The Department of Sanitation unveiled a plan Wednesday to fine people $100 for leaving lights and tinsel on their discarded trees, which makes it harder for the city to recycle them.

"Over the years, Sanitation has noticed that residents leave lights, ornaments, tree stands and tinsel on the discarded Christmas trees despite Sanitation’s continuous public education campaign asking residents not to do so," Sanitation spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins said in an email.

"This makes mulching the Christmas trees much more difficult to do, increases the cost to mulch the trees and ultimately adds to the Department’s disposal costs."

Since the city picks up more than 150,000 trees across the five boroughs each year, the cost and inconvenience of the leftover decorations adds up, Dawkins said.

Under the proposal, which was first reported by the New York Post, the city would issue the fine either to the homeowner or the building manager, Dawkins said.

The city will hold a public hearing on the proposal April 18 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at 125 Worth St., Room 819.

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