Who knew your holiday trees could make life a little better for fish? The Riverside County Waste Management Department is working closely with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to collect Christmas trees at county landfills and provide them for fish habitat.

CDFW will use the waste conifers in local lakes and waterways to create protective habitat for small fish. Christmas trees collected at the Badlands, Blythe, and Lamb Canyon landfill through the free Christmas tree drop-off program will be provided to CDFW, which will sink the trees in local lakes and waterways so that juvenile fish have a little more protection from larger predatory fish.

Trees must be prepared for recycling by removing all decorations, lights, tinsel, and tree stands. Flocked trees cannot be recycled and need to be cut up and placed in your regular trash container.

For those who don’t have a curbside pickup program, there are several drop-off locations that will accept up to three residential prepared trees for free until Jan. 10:

• A. Lua Wood Recycling, 18938 Mermack Ave., Lake Elsinore

• B.P. John Recycling, 28700 Matthews Rd., Romoland

• Burrtec Recycle Center, 41-800 Corporate Way, Palm Desert

• Burrtec/Robert A Nelson Transfer Station, 1830 Agua Mansa Rd., Riverside

• California Department of Fish & Wildlife, 17041 S. Lovekin Blvd., Blythe

• Riverside County Badlands Landfill, 31125 Ironwood Ave., Moreno Valley

• Riverside County Blythe Landfill, 1000 Midland Rd., Blythe

• Riverside County Lamb Canyon Landfill, 16411 Lamb Canyon Rd., Beaumont

Unfortunately, trees that are not recycled at drop-off locations or through curbside pick-up will only occupy valuable space in our landfills. Make the last gift you give this year to the Earth.

If you would like more information on this program, please call Riverside County Waste Management Department 951-486-3200 or visit the website at www.rivcowm.org/. For more green holiday suggestions please check out our fact sheet at www.rivcowm.org/opencms/WasteGuide/FactSheets/GreenHoliday.pdf