In the past there have been not far off 1000 trees that need to be collected after Christmas by SMA, and also a massive weight of branches in addition. The good news is that there is a system specially put in place this year by SMA to collect Christmas trees so they don’t become an encumbrance or fill up the normal bins, don’t block pavements and also to prevent them becoming a hazard by the road-side.
The system is a fairly simple one – a convenient collection place, separate from the normal rubbish bins, is created using grey guard-railings. They are easy to spot and households are encouraged to dump their Christmas trees there.
At the moment, some days the system is well utilized and on other days – well you can imagine. And some days the collection point is full of trees from the households that were quick to take advantage of the system – 15 largish trees piled into a single collection point to the delight of SMA one day – and on other days, the garbage truck would arrive to find only a few trees deposited. It is advised to wrap a tree in a large bio-degradable bag; some households are using normal plastic bags. Reportedly, there is some feedback from residents approving the new system – an indication that residents are more aware of what to do, so it is starting to be effective.
There are challenges – trees deposited with ornaments still attached or with artificial snow on them cannot be bio-degraded by SMA by incineration without extra work to remove the non-bio material first.
After the collection truck picks up the trees, they are taken to the central dump and deposited in the appropriate giant bin. There is really no other way of saying this – it is pretty smelly there – almost nauseating if you are not used to it. There are separate bins for metal, for household waste and special giant bins for the trees and branches. The trees and branches are then incinerated.
It would be better if the system were enhanced by finding users for the trees and branches so that they are naturally channelled and recycled and only incinerating those that were not useful to someone. Finding user-channels for the trees will have to await another year. It is typically part of the disposal and recycling process.
The SMA system for Christmas tree disposal is working; it is not perfect – but there is a whole 12 months now to think of ways to improve it.
Your tree does not completely disappear – it is recycled as quite useful products:
It so happens the degraded trees make excellent compost; it enriches the soil, slows down the evaporation of water and even makes it harder for weeds to grow,
The needles when dried are a great “straw-cover” layer for protecting plants against the cold.
And people swear by their quasi-medicinal and anti-bacteria properties – soak the feet in a basin of hot-water full of pine needles. Be careful though because factory produced trees are often chemically sprayed.
Inhaling the vapours is said to be good for the bronchial passage and relieving coughs and sore throats.
It is reported that Louis Dolle, painter and sculptor, who has his own school of art and a work-shop (atelier) in Nice would love to heat it with your trees, rather than see your trees go to the dump. Reportedly you are invited to deposit your trees near the Russian Church in Nice at 2, Rue de Jussieu.
There are 11 points where you can drop-off your trees:
Place Saint Nicolas, Place Saint Devote, promenade Honore-II, place Saint Charles, allee Saint Jean-Paul-II, boulevard Princesse-Grace, esplanade Albert-1er, boulevarde de Belgique, vallon de La Rousse et place des Moulins, et boulevard du Larvotto
If you need to contact SMA with a problem with a tree that is a nuisance call: 92 05 75 16