All we want for Christmas is

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Think that old battered and bruised Christmas tree couldn't be worth anything post-Dec. 25?

Think again.

Christmas tree recycling, a program not offered through the city or county governments, is an ecologically friendly practice that gives back not only to the environment, but potentially to homeowners and the community as well.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, more than 33 million real trees are sold in North America each year. Christmas tree recycling is an easy, important way to give back to the environment a renewable resource, the NCTA contends.

This editorial board believes that the city's recycling program has been a worthwhile venture. The board also believes that a practical next step to the recycling program is offering tree recycling after the holidays.

Tree recycling in many communities entails special pick-up service for discarded holiday trees. Trees are then chipped up for mulch and used in parks and around other city properties.

The city could pursue this avenue. Or, much like its summer-time effort to clean up the city of old tires and appliances, the city could offer a central location for residents to bring their unwanted trees to.

We're hoping that local public officials consider adding the practice for the next holiday season.

But, if they don't, there are other alternatives for residents hoping to recycle their tree.

Extension offices recommend either incorporating the tree into the homeowners' landscape, or grinding the tree into mulch or woodchips for use around the garden.

Either way, whether it's through the city or on your own, tree recycling is a much better alternative, and more handy, than simply ditching the tree into the dumpster.

Another item on the editorial board's wish list for the 2007 holiday is a heightened emphasis on providing local youths with activities during their holiday break.

With schools out, and the Boys and Girls Club of Craig on temporary hiatus for the holidays, local students have plenty of time on their hands. And, as one of our members pointed out, groups of students together with plenty of free time and little to do can sometimes be a bad combination.

We'd like to see more people volunteer their time so to help staff the Boys and Girls Club during the holiday break, thus solving budgetary and staffing problems, as well as more activities provided by the Moffat County Library. The library has been sporadic in recent months with the days it has been closed to the public.

The board feels both of these agencies provide a worthwhile, healthy and useful outlet for students and the more they're open to the public, the better for the community they serve.

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