LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Now that Christmas is over, it may be time to properly dispose of your tree before it becomes a home hazard.

The L.A. City Fire Department is urging those with natural Christmas trees to remove and recycle them as soon as possible.

If you have a green yard waste bin, remove the stand, ornaments, decorations and tinsel; cut the tree into pieces and put the pieces in the bin before your trash collection day, the department’s Brian Humphrey said.

Those without a green yard waste bin can drop off their tree at 20 different locations on Sunday Jan. 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To find a location near you, call 3-1-1 or visit:
» WEB SITE: City Of Los Angeles

Humphrey noted it’s been four years since the last fatal fire involving a Christmas tree in Los Angeles. That can change quickly, he said, adding that a small fire in a holiday tree can become an inferno in less than 30 seconds.

In Riverside County, the Waste Management Department announced today that residents with curbside service can recycle their trees by leaving them on the curb for the next two weeks.

In addition, they said residents without curb service could drop off their trees at nine collection sites throughout the county. Residents can drop off as many as three threes for free until January 17.  (Artificial and flocked trees are not accepted. Also, all ornaments and lights must be removed.)

Trees taken to landfills in Oasis, Blythe, Desert Center or Mecca will not be recycled and regular landfill rates will apply.

For more info, click on the Riverside Waste Management Department Web site: http://www.rivcowm.org/

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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