This weekend is the time to take out the Christmas tree. Epiphany has passed and the Christmas holidays are almost over. Yet everyone handles the tree differently: throw it away, burn it or give it a second life?
They lie desolately on almost every street corner: discarded Christmas trees. Not everyone in Breda can get that over their hearts. “It’s such a shame if they are thrown away. The entire neighborhood is full!”, says Margriet Wolters.
About 170 trees will be collected on Saturday at Beter Boompje in Breda. The trees bought there will come back again. “It is very unpleasant to throw your tree out of the window. That is far from sustainable and is really no longer possible in this day and age,” says co-initiator Frank Haagen.
“They’re retiring,” Haagen jokes. The Christmas trees are replanted in a forest near Leusden in Utrecht. “They stay there for years, until they finally end up in wood production after many decades,” says Haagen. In total, he hopes to recover about 2,000 trees nationwide.
After two corona years, the traditional Christmas tree burning in Uden is back. Enthusiastic children use all their willpower to drag as many Christmas trees as possible to the Market. It takes a while, but then you will be rewarded with a ticket for the lottery.
This is also the case with 9-year-old Imke, who has already collected more than forty Christmas trees with the help of family and friends. “It’s nice to see the Christmas trees burn at the stake. First it stands in the living room for a long time and then you see a very large flame. Then you know: that’s my Christmas tree,” she laughs.
Still, it is questionable whether the fiery Christmas tree tradition can continue for long. It has been under pressure for years due to climate change. The municipality writes in a response: “We are also aware of the substances that are released during combustion. It therefore has our attention.”
The municipalities of Odiliapeel, Reek, Schaijk, Uden, Volkel and Zeeland have been the municipality of Maashorst for a year now. “As a result, the burning of Christmas trees has not yet had a priority. That is why the Christmas tree burnings can continue this year.”
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