The Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs (MassDEP) wants you to give a gift to the earth this holiday season - recycle your tree!

If you purchased a live tree this year, simply discarding it on the sidewalk is not only wasting a valuable resource, but a create a disposal problem

If all the cut trees sold in Massachusetts this holiday season were packed tightly together on their sides, they could fill every square foot of a major regional shopping mall to a height of 15 feet, or create a pile that would rise ten stories and span a football field from one goal post to the other.

More than 200 cities and towns in the Commonwealth provide their residents with an opportunity to recycle their trees. In many of these towns and cities, trees can be dropped off at a central location where the trees are then chipped into mulch for municipal landscaping projects. (Trees must be stripped of all tinsel, decorations and hooks prior to drop off.)

If you purchased a live tree from a local nursery, you are likely able to replant the tree. Contact the nursery for tips and tricks on replacing your spruce post-holiday season.

To find out if your tree can be recycled or replanted, contact your local recycling department via the MassDEP website under Recycling in My Community.