Jefferson Parish prepares for 25th annual Christmas Tree recycling project

From Jefferson Parish,

Christmas trees will be collected curbside throughout unincorporated Jefferson Parish, Gretna, Harahan, Lafitte and Westwego on January 8, 9, and 10, 2015.

christmas_tree_projectIn Kenner, trees will be collected on January 7, 8 and 9, 2015. Garbage trucks will make one pass through each neighborhood to collect trees.

Residents of unincorporated Jefferson Parish, Lafitte, Gretna, Harahan, and Westwego are advised to place trees curbside on the evening of Wednesday, January 7th. Garbage trucks will make one pass through each neighborhood to collect trees on January 8, 9, and 10, 2015.

Kenner residents are advised to place trees curbside on the evening of Tuesday, January 6th, 2015. In Kenner, garbage trucks will make one pass through each neighborhood to collect trees on January 7, 8 and 9, 2015.

Trees will be recycled for beneficial re-use – some will be used for marsh restoration and some will be composted. Only clean, unpainted and non-flocked trees are acceptable for re-use. Prior to placing trees curbside, residents must remove all lights, tinsel, garland, ornaments, tree stands and plastic bags from their Christmas trees. Artificial, flocked or painted trees are not eligible for the program. This year’s project involves two (2) phases. Some of the trees will be placed in the marsh, refurbishing previously constructed shoreline fences in Goose Bayou near Lafitte to help protect and restore coastal wetlands; and others will be brought to Wood Materials, LLC to be chipped and used for composting.

Although the Louisiana Office of Coastal Management has discontinued funding Christmas tree marsh restoration projects throughout the state, we are able to continue this popular project thanks to a generous donation of $25,000 from DynoNobel and thanks to the cooperative effort of Wood Materials, LLC.

Volunteers are needed, especially those with shallow draft boats, to move trees from a Lafitte staging area to the pre-constructed shoreline fences in Goose Bayou. Volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at Cochiara’s Marina, 4477 Jean Lafitte Boulevard in Lafitte and move trees to the pre-constructed shoreline fences in Goose Bayou, near the Town of Jean Lafitte on Saturday, January 10 and January 17, 2015. If volunteer turnout allows completion of the project on January 10th, a Press Release will announce cancellation of the January 17th event. If inclement weather leads to the cancellation and rescheduling of these events, please call (504) 731-4612 for information. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and are advised to wear layered clothing including long pants, long sleeved shirt, and closed-toe, hard sole, sturdy shoes. Hats and sunscreen are recommended. Gloves, safety glasses, life vests, lunch and refreshments will be provided.

For more information or to volunteer, contact the Jefferson Parish Department of Environmental Affairs at (504) 731-4612.


 

A little history

Louisiana is losing 25 – 35 square miles of coastal wetlands each year. The Barataria Basin is the fastest-eroding area of Louisiana’s coast. Jefferson Parish once had 50 miles of near-solid healthy wetlands between it and the Gulf of Mexico. The wetlands protect developed areas against hurricane surges, provide natural treatment for storm water, and provide a rich nursery ground for fisheries. Now, a large percentage of these wetlands have been converted to open water, significantly reducing storm protection.

  • Since 1991, over 750,000 Christmas trees have been recycled by using them to rebuild wetlands rather than taking up valuable landfill space.

  • Tree fences slow wave action, trap sediments, and combat erosion.

  • Wetlands will be created and protected behind shoreline cribs and by filling in dead-end, abandoned, oil-access canals.

  • Project increases public awareness of wetland losses, solid waste issues, and conservation of natural resources.

  • Project received national attention in 1997 when we received seventy Christmas trees from the White House.

  • Project is funded by Jefferson Parish and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Coastal Restoration Division.

  • Project is largely dependent on community volunteers and assistance from other government agencies such as the Louisiana Army Air Guard and LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries.

  • Project relies heavily on cash and in-kind contributions from corporations, such as past support from Chevron, Texaco, Shell, Exxon, Entergy, and Home Depot.

  • 1994 – National Association of Counties Environmental Achievement Award.

  • 1995 – Bureau of Governmental Research Excellence in Government Keller Award.

  • 1996 – Renew America National Award for Environmental Sustainability.

  • 1999 – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Regional Administrator’s Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Education.

  • 2000 – SWANA/NCTA Christmas Tree Recycling Excellence Award.

  • 2001 – Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana s Coastal Stewardship Award.

  • 2001 – Walter B. Jones Memorial Award: Excellence in Local Government for Coastal and Ocean Resource Management.

VOLUNTEER FOR THIS “HANDS ON” ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT

christmas_tree_aniRECYCLE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
Projects like this would not be possible without you.
For more information please contact:
Jefferson Parish Department of Environmental Affairs
4901 Jefferson Hwy., Suite E
Jefferson, LA 70121
(504) 731-4612

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