SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — It’s an annual event in San Francisco — the “Chipping of the Trees” at Civic Center Plaza, part of the city’s Christmas Tree collection program.

Dozens of Christmas trees were fed through a wood chipper on Friday in front of San Francisco City Hall. Robert Reed with the recycling company Recology said the annual event is meant to inspire residents to leave their trees curbside beginning on Friday, January 2.

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“Just put your tree out on your regular collection day. If it’s a Monday or Tuesday, put it out with your recycling, your compost, your garbage” Reed said. “We’ll come by and pick it up in our collection trucks, take it down to the transfer station and chip them.”

The chips will then be used for mulch or as biomass to generate electricity.

Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, is reminding people to strip the tree of any decorations first and to cut it in half if it’s over ten feet tall.

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“Once we’re chipping, we don’t want little bits of ornaments and tinsel to contaminate the trees,” she said.

Curbside collection will last for two weeks, from January 2 to January 16.

Last year, Recology collected and recycled 523 tons of Christmas trees through the program.

This is the 28th year San Francisco has held the Christmas Tree Collection Program.

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