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Recycling live Christmas trees urged

With all of the gift wrappings and other trash accumulated over the Christmas weekend already picked up by Oxford’s Environmental Services garbage collection teams, there’s one more item that needs to be hauled down the street.

It’s almost time to say goodbye to O Tannenbaum — the family Christmas tree.

Regular garbage routes will be picked up as usual on Monday after the New Year’s holiday; however rubbish — leaves, yard debris and yes, live Christmas trees will be collected on Tuesday and Wednesday next week inside the city limits.

“People can put their trees down where their rubbish is usually collected during their regular rubbish collection days, other than next Monday,” said Environment Services Superintendent Amberlyn Liles.

The trees should free of lights and decorations.

“We will pick them up and then the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will pick them up to take them out to the lakes,” Liles said. “It’s a good partnership.”

The trees will be stored until Habitat Day on Feb. 4, where volunteers will come together to unload the discarded trees and put them in various spots in Enid Lake to create fish habitats. The trees are staked down to keep them in place, where they will become new spawning areas and homes to fish.

Cedar and discarded Christmas trees are used to construct fish shelters in targeted areas. The actual placement of fish shelters is accomplished by interested volunteers who donate their time and equipment. They drag the trees with ATV’s, and anchor them with concrete blocks and other weights along creek beds and other designated areas.

Restoration of the fish habitat is very important to the future fisheries at Enid Lake, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Enid Lake’s website.

Fish use these shelters for various reasons: cover, areas to feed, and for a place to spawn. Also restoring the habitat can increase the health and populations of fish. According to studies performed by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks the restoration program has shown enormous benefits to the fish and habitat in Enid Lake.

For those living in the county or who want to take their trees directly to the U.S. Army Corps, Christmas trees, free of lights and decorations, can be dropped off at the boat launches. From there, volunteers and fishermen will take the trees to be used as new habitats in Enid Lake.

For more information on Habitat Day or the fish habitat Christmas tree program, call the Enid office at 662-232-2745.