NEW BEDFORD — On Thursday evening, New Bedford City Council President Ian Abreu took to social media with his frustration after discovering a Christmas tree wrapped in plastic and discarded in a city park.

"We (the city) have been very clear and concise on where and how we all should discard our Christmas trees," Abreu wrote in the Dec. 29 post, which included a photo.

"Unfortunately, someone felt the need to dump it off in a non-designated spot (covered in garbage bags and tape no less)," he continued.

"Please, have some respect for our neighborhoods and the men and women of our DPI who now have to go pick this up. Don’t be like this person."

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Woman taking a used Christmas tree out of a front house door on twelfth night in the new year
Andrew Gardner

New Bedford residents might need a refresher on where they can — and where they cannot — place their Christmas trees now that the holiday is over.

Do Not Dump

Here's a (non-comprehensive) list of where NOT to dump your tree:

  • In the New Bedford harbor (the EPA is cleaning up PCBs, not trees. Common mistake.)
  • Strewn across I-195 or that one side street everyone drives too fast on
  • St. Luke's Hospital — even though the trees are dying, health care staff have enough to deal with right now
  • Hoisted atop the Whaling Museum cupola for all to see
  • Re-gifted. The real tree is the friends we made along the way...but that doesn't mean they want yours
  • Literally anywhere else, except for the three Christmas tree drop-off points listed below, or on the curb for scheduled pick-up from Jan. 9-13 (see below for details.)
Recycled Christmas Tree

How to Dispose of Trees

Now here's where residents can (and should!) dispose of their trees.

Real trees — without lights, ornaments, tinsel, or tree stands — can be dropped off at these three locations until Jan. 13:

  • East Rodney French Boulevard at the beach parking lot between Hudson and Seymore streets
  • Brooklawn Park near Pony League Field at Irvington Street
  • The Shawmut Avenue Recycling Center at 1103 Shawmut Ave., open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (except Jan. 2) from 12-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

From Jan. 9 through Jan. 13, real trees can also be placed at the curb for pick-up by 7 a.m. the weekday after your usual trash and recycling collection.

This means if your trash is usually picked up on Friday, Christmas trees need to be on the curb by 7 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 9.

No ornaments, lights, or tinsel should be on the trees, which should be removed from tree stands and placed bare (with no plastic bags involved) on the curb.

City officials say property owners may get a violation notice if trees are on the curb at any other time, or if any decorations or plastic is left on the tree.

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