Frank Klock estimates that if all the Christmas trees put up in Carbon County homes this year went to a landfill, they would fill four football fields eight feet deep.

"That's landfill space we can't fill up," he said. "It just can't happen."

Klock, the program assistant at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center, urges that trees be brought to the center where they can be recycled into mulch.

For about three decades the environmental education center, located along Lentz Trail (White Bear Drive East) about a half mile off Route 902 in Summit Hill, has been collecting discarded trees and reusing them.

"That's a lot of trees we've kept out of landfills," Klock said.

He explained initially the trees were used as a natural hedge row and wildlife habitat.

In 2008, the Carbon County Leadership Carbon Class engaged in a project of having the trees turned into mulch.

Not only can you discard your tree, but in the spring and summer you can go to the environmental center and get free mulch to use at your residence.

Klock said people discarding trees should make sure they remove all tinsel, hooks, lights and the stand.

"And no bags," he said, adding that people can bring the trees in bags but they should remove the bags when they drop the tree at the center.

He added that only trees should be placed on the pile; "no yard material, no wreaths, no swags. They create a safety hazard for those doing the mulching."

Although some of the mulch is given away, a lot of it is used for projects at the environmental center.

Anyone dropping off trees should take them to the back of the barn where a large pile of trees exists. There are signs explaining where they can be placed.

"Do not put them by the dumpster in front of the building," he said.