After the presents are opened, the wrapping paper has been discarded and the Christmas tree's needles are all over the floor, those interested in getting the shedding tree out of their house can do so as soon as they can load it onto their car.
Because area landfills do not accept old Christmas trees, Scott City, Jackson and Cape Girardeau have all set up a way for people to recycle their trees.
The tradition of recycling Christmas trees began more than 400 years ago in the 16th century on the evening of the Epiphany when people would use the Christmas trees in a bonfire. The fire was to remind people of the bright star that guided the wise men to Bethlehem.
Another way for people to recycle the Christmas trees is to place two or more of them in a lake or a pond as a place for fish to hide in the shade created by the tree. This creates a great place for anglers to catch those hiding fish.
Scott City residents can drop off their Christmas trees at the Public Works Department at 1011 Rose Time Road in Scott City.
Public Works director Jack Rasnick said trees will be available for people to take.
The Scott City Public Works department has been collecting trees all year from storm damage and the Christmas trees will be added to the pile.
Rasnick will apply for a state permit to burn the leftover trees on a calm day.
For the next three weeks to a month starting on Tuesday, Jackson residents can bring their Christmas trees to the Recycling Center. Those interested in taking the old trees and putting them into their lakes and ponds for fish habitats can just stop by and pick up the trees.
Jackson will not have curb pick up, but Cape Girardeau will.
Beginning Jan. 11, for a fee of $5 the Cape Girardeau Public Works department will have curbside pick-up available by appointment only. To schedule a Wednesday special curbside pick-up, call the Public Works Department at 334-9151.
A Christmas tree drop-off point is already set up at Arena Park in the southeast corner by the 4-H shelter where the 4-H club has the animals during the fair.
The Missouri Conservation Department will take some of the discarded trees, and area residents with ponds and lakes can also take some of the trees.
The rest will be mulched, said Pam Sander, administrative officer with Cape Public Works.
335-6611 extension 127