Vienna Offers Christmas-Tree Recycling Service To Residents

Category: Society / Jan 17, 2013 4:08PM EDT
In Vienna, Austria authorities across town have been offering Christmas-tree recycling service to residents every year after the Christmas holiday for 20 years. Residents using the free of charge service have increased over the years, and the simple accessibility and convenience of the service, sees residents take their cut trees to any one of the 504 recycling points throughout the city -- stretching 414 square kilometers -- during the holiday period from Jan. 2 to 19 this month. This has meant that they can find a recycling point within a ten-minute walk. Moreover, the collected tree trunks are then chopped and transported to a designated biological fuel power plants, from which they can be used to provide heating to households. This year, the recycled trees are expected to be processed into 560 tons of bio-fuel granules, producing 18.9 million kilowatt hours of heat energies, meeting the energy demands of 3,000 families for one month, according to reports. Meanwhile, the central government offers energy subsidies worth as much as 40 euros for each household on an annual basis. This incentive has in turn encouraged the public to fully maximize the use of the energy source, said Christian Ammer, spokesman for Austria's federal forest biomass power plant. However, in fact, the power generated from the total Christmas trees in collection is reported to be quite limited. A prime example of this is the local Simmering forest biomass power plant, which on a regular basis consumes around 190,000 tons of wood particles per year, most of which are taken from recycled timbers and economic forest, reports add.