I'm already dreading it. The day AFTER Christmas. We prepare all month long for the magical moments of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On the evening of the 25th, I am always left with a sense of accomplishment, joy, and a little sadness that it is over.

There have been times that I've left the Christmas tree up into the month of January to keep the festive and cozy spirit going a little longer, but in recent years, I am ready to pack it all up and get the house back to normal. Taking the time to clean and organize toys and gifts gets us all ready for the new year. But what is the best way to go about disposing of your Christmas tree?

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You could always chuck it to the curb for the sanitation department to come by and pick up, but there is a way you can recycle it and help local wildlife at the same time. Killing two birds with one stone seems like the wrong phrase to use here, but I'll tell you how you can do it.

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Old Christmas Trees Create Habitats for Fish in Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has a Christmas Tree Recycling Program that uses old natural Christmas trees (not artificial) to build habitats for fish in lakes all over the state. Over time, vegetation in the water decays and disappears which leaves fish without places to hide and multiply over time stocking lakes for fishing and providing an important link in the food chain. Your Christmas tree can be submerged creating natural structures which reinvigorate these habitats for a healthy underwater ecosystem.

How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree in Kentucky

Once you are ready to pack up decorations until next year, remove all ornaments, greenery, and lights from your tree. Load it up and drop it off at any of the locations listed on their website for collection. Here are some of the ones close to Daviess County and the surrounding area.

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The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife welcomes tree drop-offs starting December 26th until January 15th. Please only come during daylight hours between 8 am- 5 pm.  Keep in mind that depending on staffing, there may not be someone present at locations to help unload your tree, but they share this note of appreciation to anyone who donates, "Thanks for helping us improve fish habitat across the Commonwealth and remember us when you are cleaning up after the holidays!"

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