Myrtle Beach notebook | City has recycling plan for Christmas trees

Now that Santa has visited and the gifts have been opened, how do you dispose of your live Christmas tree?

Beginning in January, the city of Myrtle Beach will pick up Christmas trees from the curb and take them to be recycled. In February all of the collected trees will be ground into mulch, which will be available to the public for free.

Michael Young, who sold Christmas trees this year at Myrtle’s Market in downtown Myrtle Beach, said he personally believes trees should be left up throughout the season until Jan. 3.

“I think the Christmas tree should be kept up throughout,” he said. “My mother always put the tree up around Dec. 22 and we’d take it down Jan. 3.”

He added that he knew some who purchased their trees early in the season and took it down the day after Christmas.

Young said the best way avoid dealing with prickly pine needles falling as you haul your tree out of the house is to water it regularly the entire time it’s up.

Forget to water your tree properly?

“There’s always the good old vacuum,” he said.

Young said he’d sold about 150 of the 225 Christmas trees that were available as of Monday afternoon, including one that day.

“I think Christmas is becoming too artificial. People don’t buy as many trees,” he said. “To me, Christmas trees are representative of the meaning of Christmas.”

Residents are asked to place trees at the curb – making sure to remove all decorations and tree stands and not to cover any utility boxes or meters.

Those who don’t want to wait for curbside pickup can drop off trees on Mr. Joe White Avenue at 21 Avenue North Extension, behind Myrtle Waves Water Park.

Get city parking decals

The city will soon offer the two-year parking decals for 2013 and 2014. Letters will be sent to the owners of vehicles that are registered in city limits.

The decals allow residents to park their vehicles for free at the city’s parking meters, in the Pavilion Parking Garage and at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

Eligibility for decals is tied to where the vehicle “lives” – it is eligible if it is registered inside city limits and city property taxes have been paid on it. Properly registered golf carts also are eligible for parking decals

The parking meter season begins March 1 and runs through Sept. 30.

Additionally, all vehicles with valid handicapped plates or hand-tags and vehicles with valid Purple Heart, Disabled American Veteran or Medal of Honor license plates already are able to park free.

Holiday closings of city offices, trash schedule

The city of Myrtle Beach offices and facilities will be closed Tuesday for the Christmas holiday. Offices will be closed again Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.

Trash and recycling collections will be:

Services will be offered regularly the week of Dec. 31 to Jan. 3

Call 918-2160 with questions.