Holiday nightmare: Why now is the time to dispose of your Christmas tree

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — It glimmers and glistens, but now, it is posing a major threat in your home. Many people have had their Christmas trees up in their home for over a month, meaning that the tree is completely dead and highly flammable. 

“A dry tree in a closed area can burn a whole house down,” said Panama City Fire Prevention Division Chief Graham Tolbert. “It can catch the surrounding presents and walls on fire and it can lead to a major house fire.” 

The Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office says to get your tree out of your house as soon as possible. 

“Once you take the tree down, you want to make sure that you are not storing it in the garage, you’re not storing it on the side of your house or right beside your house,” said Bureau Chief Casia Sinco. “If anything happens and it catches fire, it could ignite the house.”

If you do not know where to dispose of your tree, Bay County and Panama City officials are here to help. The county has created four different locations across the area for Christmas tree disposals.

“It’s just a way the county is trying to make things easier on its citizens,” said Bay County Parks Division Manager Travis Barbee. “It is easy to collect it and we recycle them and turn them into energy.”

The four drop off locations are: 

  • Sherman Avenue Recreational Complex: 2117 Sherman Avenue, Panama City 
  • H.G. Harders Park: 7900 John Pitts Road, Bayou George
  • Steelfield Road Landfill: 11411 Landfill Road, Panama City Beach
  • Bay County Waste to Energy Facility: 6510 Bay Line Drive, Panama City

Only residential drop offs will be allowed at the park locations. Larger quantities from businesses should go to the Steelfield Road Landfill or Bay County Waste to Energy Facility. 

All locations will be collecting trees until January 15th.  

The City of Panama City will also be collecting Christmas trees as part of their routine, weekly trash collection process. 

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