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How to throw away the Christmas tree

Tomorrow is the traditional day for throwing out your tree – but you could face a fine if you don't do it properly

EPIPHANY is the traditional day for throwing out your Christmas tree, if you have not done so already - but ensure you do it properly, or you may be in line for a fine.

Some people in France threw out the tree on December 26, others keep it until closer to the end of January, but the day of Epiphany, January 6, is traditional.

You may be fined up to €150 for disposing of your tree in an unsuitable way, such as dumping it in the street - or even taking it into a forest.

The simplest solution would be to take it to your local déchetterie (tip) where there should be a dedicated green waste container to put it in, as long as it has not been covered in artificial snow or glitter.

Many towns and cities organise collection points around town, and sometimes businesses that sell the trees in the first place also put in place collection points for them. This year, for example, the city of Paris set up 141 dedicated collection points for undecorated real Christmas trees on December 26. They will be open 24/7 until January 24.

Any trees collected will be shredded on site for use as mulch on public gardens. Last year, about 54,000 Parisians recycled their Christmas trees this way at 96 collection points.

Fir trees are not suitable for composting as their acid content is too high.

Marseille, too, has organised numerous collection points in its 16 arrondisements. Other mairies across France have organised ways of collecting old Christmas trees, including for example dedicated collections for those who cannot get to their local recycling centres.

You may be tempted to plant your old tree in the garden - but be aware they can grow up to 50m.

Check the website of your local mairie or contact them for advice.

Photo: Frédéric Bisson / Flickr

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