Winter Quarter is officially here, which means the holiday break is over. As you're putting away your decorations, keep in mind the proper way to dispose of any unwanted items.
Christmas trees and wreaths can be composted for free with the regular compost collection in Seattle through Jan. 31 (find options for other cities in King County here). Make sure all decorations are removed, and trim the tree to be no taller than 6 feet, with branches cut to 4 feet lengths or less. This is for clean, real trees only - plastic or flocked trees can't be composted.
If you have strings of lights which no longer work, there are several area options to recycle them and keep them out of the landfill. King County's EcoConsumer page lists locations where you can drop off or mail-in your lights for recycling, including Ace Hardware in Maple Leaf, and all area locations of McLendon Hardware. See the full list here.
For more information on how to recycle items left over after the holidays, check out King County's "Recycle the Holidays" page.
Photo by Alan Levine