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Put Your Christmas Tree to Good Reuse, Westport

WESTPORT, Conn. – The holiday season may be over, and the pine needles on your Christmas tree are likely falling off at a rapid pace. But instead of trashing your tree, have it recycled — and help benefit the town and a Westport Boy Scout troop.

This Saturday, Westport Boy Scout Troop 39 is hosting its second-annual Christmas tree pickup. Through the program, Christmas trees are picked up by the scouts and later recycled into mulch, which will be used by the town, Assistant Scout Master Eric Montgomery said.

"I feel it's a win-win for the community and the troop," said Montgomery, who helped launch the program last year. "It's clearly a service people want to take advantage of, that's good for the community, and it helps fund all the outdoor activates and other healthy programs we get the scouts involved with."

For a suggested donation of $15, residents can sign up to have their Christmas trees hauled away by the scouts . Once all the trees are picked up, they are taken to the Imperial Avenue parking lot and fed through a commercial wood chipper, Montgomery said. The mulch, he said, is turned over to Westport's Public Works Department and will be used around town this spring and summer.

This program, Montgomery added, is the troop's primary fundraiser.

"The troop has a lot of expenses," he said. "There are campouts, and hikes, they go on High Adventure trips, like scuba diving in Florida this past summer, and we need to buy new equipment on a regular basis. These are just a number things the money will be used for."

The troop, based out of Green's Farms Congregational Church, is no stranger to service. Some of the troop's other annual community service programs include a pancake breakfast at the church and a food drive that benefits the Fairfield Food Bank, Montgomery said.

Residents interested in having their Christmas tree recycled by the scouts need to make a reservation online and then put their tree outside by the mailbox. Because the scouts get started early Saturday morning, Montgomery recommends residents put their trees outside Friday night.

The suggested $15 donation should be placed in an envelope and taped to the front door, he added. Donations can be cash or check (made payable to "Boy Scout Troop 39").

For more information about Westport Boy Scouts Troop 39, visit its website .

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