Evergreen Energy Trees

End of (Holi)days

In discussing Christmas trees in the comments section here last week, different collection processes were mentioned. I didn’t know of Utrecht doing anything specific, but now it turns out that Utrecht is part of a pilot program to process discarded Christmas trees into green energy. During the first two weeks of January, the trees will be picked up and processed separately, and then sorted and shredded and so on, with parts of the trees becoming biofuel and the rest becoming compost.

It seems that Christmas trees are usually difficult to compost, since their wood is hard and takes too long to break down. Many of them end up in the incinerator, which then produces CO2. With this new process, they can be broken down and used more effectively, with the ultimate result of producing more electricity than they use.

You can read more about it in an article here (in Dutch).

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14 thoughts on “Evergreen Energy Trees

  1. That seems like a very good initiative, and how good of Utrecht to pioneer this new method of recycling trees. And also good for the trees who, after fulfilling their Christmas destiny, get to save a little bit of the planet as well πŸ™‚

  2. and now I’m thinking about that scene from “Friends” where Phoebe goes Nooooooooo!!! when Joey puts a dead christmas tree into the shredder. She ends up “saving” all the dead trees and taking them home with her. I bet she would have liked this green intitiative of recycling the trees πŸ™‚

  3. Hi,

    I just wanted to wish you all the best in the NewYear, I so look forward to receiving your wonderful photo’s in my inbox daily.
    Your the best, you should publish a book.

    Cheers,
    margo on vancouver island

    • Gelukkig nieuwjaar/happy new year! Thank you for your kind words! I truly appreciate it. Hopefully I’ll get a few nice shots later today on my annual walk around town.

  4. Did you hear about the Christmas tree drive at the zoo in Amersfoort? On Friday, 6 January, they will be “funcycling” (okay, they didn’t use that term–but they could have!) trees — it turns out various zoo residents love a good Christmas tree to play with / gnaw on!

    I read about it in one of the free papers on the train the other day. If you have a real tree that wasn’t treated with any kind of spray snow or chemical stuff to try to keep the needles fresh, you are welcome to bring your tree to DierenPark Amersfoort.

    Turns out you can even tell them whether you would you like to donate your tree to the elephants, bears, chimps or tigers when you deliver it.

    More info here: http://www.dierenparkamersfoort.nl/kerstbomenactie (in Dutch)

    • That’s fantastic! With the increasing recycling options, we may have to get a real tree next year! I don’t think we’d be able to resist asking that our tree go to the olifanten. Thanks for passing this along!

  5. Hmm, I know that in the Rio Grande Valley xmas trees picked up go to the beach to be used for dune building. Since it’s something for the sand to collect around. I would’ve thought Holland would do that, too, with all the dunes. Maybe in Zandvoort?

    • That’s an interesting use for the leftover trees. I’m glad they’re being put to good use! It does seem like the kind of thing the Netherlands would do, though. As you said, maybe they do closer to the coast.

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