Heeding a request by a borough resident to "do the right thing," Summit Hill Borough Council agreed to help residents recycle their Christmas trees.
By a 4-3 vote, the council said it will have borough workers pick up the discarded trees. Residents should place trees - free of garland, tinsel, ornaments, and plastic bags - at curbside on their trash collection days of Jan. 12, 13, 19, or 20.
Borough Secretary Kira Michalik was instructed to contact the trash collection firm, Tamaqua Transfer and Recycling, and ask them not to pick up the trees with the trash unless they still contain decorative material or if they are in plastic bags.
Voting in favor of the tree collection were Council President Joseph Weber, who broke a 3-3 tie; Harry Miller, Bill Chapman, and Michael Kokinda. Opposed were Michael Alabovitz, Ken Boyd, and John O'Gurek.
Borough resident Stephen Redash asked the borough to collect the trees, stating they could be transported to the Carbon County Environmental Center where they will be either chipped or utilized for wildlife habitat.
O'Gurek opposed, stating it should be up to the residents to get rid of their trees either by taking them to the recycling center or bringing them to the borough garage where borough employees could then dispose of them.
"Do a service to your community," chided Redash to the council.
Another resident, Sherrie Parsons, said she feels it would be a good gesture by council "to encourage people to recycle." She said, "If you make it a little easier for people, they'll do the right thing. We're talking about doing the right thing."
Weber emphasized that the borough will not pick up trees that are in plastic bags.