A troop of boy scouts collecting, recycling Christmas trees, helping to feed the animals at Omaha Zoo

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Some would say it’s a bit too early to cut down these Christmas trees, but thousands of Omahans and Lincolnites have already signed up to have theirs collected.

“We have our annual Scouting for Trees service project where we collect trees,” says Matthew McConnell, the senior patrol leader of Omaha Scout Troop 282.

From Sunday, the troop again goes door to door to collect trees to take them to recycle.

“This year we’re planting about 7,000 trees,” McConnell says.

But before the troop starts picking up your trees, they pick up the ones that weren’t bought.]

“Today we picked them up from Lowes and the other hardware stores, some of them that we bring here to the Henry Doorly Zoo to drop off for the animals for their habitat, or food or toys, whatever. what they want to use them for, ”he says.

More than a dozen troop members delivered nearly 100 trees to the zoo on Sunday.

It’s the 24th year of the Scouting for Trees project, and it’s the biggest service project of the year for them.

“Scouts will at least, I mean if they show up every day, they can get hours and hours of community service, and it’s about giving back to the community,” says Patrick Borg, a scout leader. of the troop.

“It’s really nice to be able to help the community with the trees, take them out of homes or when the stores aren’t selling them,” says McConnell, a 15-year-old student from Millard West. “It’s nice to be able to take them to the zoo because we see the animals enjoying them, it’s just a really good feeling.”

Just like bottles or cans, these scouts say Christmas trees are easy to recycle and reuse, and anyone can do it.

“When we recycle them, we keep them out of landfills because when they’re in landfills, they don’t decompose well,” says McConnell.

“It’s just nice to recycle these trees and shred them or do whatever they’re going to use them for so that they can be reused and not just sit in a landfill and take up space,” adds Borg.

For these boys, the project is about leadership, community and, of course, a little fun.

If you would like your Christmas tree to be collected, you can sign up for their service on their website.

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