14 January 2021
As homes across Oxfordshire take down their festive decorations, Severn Trent Green Power is set to be inundated with leftover Christmas trees throughout January, so they can be recycled into a high-quality compost.
Christmas may have come and gone, but the work doesn’t stop for teams based at Green Power’s four composting sites across the county, where leftover trees will be recycled into compost and eventually spread onto local farmland, so the growing process can start again.
The company expects the bulk of unwanted trees to arrive via household waste recycling centres across Oxfordshire.
Debra Barnacle, Contract and Education Manager at Severn Trent Green Power, explains how the process works:
“Despite the challenges of lockdown, our composting sites across Oxfordshire remain open, so we can continue to recycle leftover Christmas trees as we do each year.
“When the trees arrive at our compost sites, they are put through a high-speed shredder. Then, mother nature takes over and begins to slowly compost the shredded trees down. After about eight weeks, we put the material through a screener - which sieves out all the larger chunks which haven’t broken down yet and allows the finer parts to be separated out, which becomes our compost.”
Debra added: “All the larger pieces, which are still too big to pass through the screener, are recycled back through the composting process where they break down further, so absolutely nothing is wasted.
“This produces an agricultural grade compost, perfect for spreading onto land. It’s recycling at its finest – re-nourishing the county’s soil so that the whole process can begin again.”
Rachel Townsend, Waste Strategy Project Officer at Oxfordshire County Council, reminds Oxfordshire residents to “check whether their District Council are operating local drop off points, before they bring it to their nearest recycling centre. Otherwise consider if it can be replanted to reuse next Christmas or home composted.”
Severn Trent Green Power recycles over 120,000 tonnes of green and mixed food waste each year, forming a key part of Severn Trent’s Triple Carbon Pledge. This green ambition includes plans to use 100% renewable energy, achieve net zero carbon emissions and have a fleet of vehicles that are entirely electric by 2030.
More information can be found at www.oxfordshirerecycles.org.uk/christmas