Redmond Boy Scout troop continues tradition of collecting and recycling Christmas trees

Redmond Boy Scouts have recycled Christmas trees for more than 16 years. They’ll do it again this weekend. - Courtesy Photo
Redmond Boy Scouts have recycled Christmas trees for more than 16 years. They’ll do it again this weekend.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

For more than a decade and a half, the Boy Scouts of America’s Sammamish Trails District — which includes Redmond — has been helping community members recycle their Christmas trees at the end of the holiday season.

And this year, it is no different.

On Saturday and Sunday, members of Boy Scout Troop 557 in Redmond will collect trees from curbs at Bear Creek Country Club, Trilogy, RiverTrail, Meadowview and other surrounding neighborhoods. Residents in these collection areas will have received either a flier or email note from their homeowner’s associations with collection day information and instructions. Residents are asked to leave their trees at the curb by 9 a.m. on either of the collection days.

“All (residents) need to do is put their trees on the curb and we will drive by and pick them up,” said Troop 557 scout master Rob Trace.

Trace, who has been involved with the troop for four years when his oldest son joined, said those who do not live in the pick-up neighborhoods can drop their trees off at the troop’s collection station in the Bella Bottega parking lot near QFC at 8867 161st Ave. N.E.

“We will have lots of signs up,” he said.

The tree drop-off center will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information about tree recycling or about which troop collects in other areas around Redmond, visit Residents may also email or call the troop at (425) 954-3557.

The tree collection and recycling has been a community service project and fundraiser for the Boy Scout troop for more than 16 years. Trace said they raise money through optional donations. The suggested donation is $15 and all donations are tax deductible.

Trace said this is the only fundraiser the troop, which has 21 active members, does throughout the year. The money goes to the troop’s general fund, which subsidizes various scouting activities such as training and leadership camps. Trace said the Christmas tree recycling project is a work day for the troop. The boys, who range from age 11-17, earn “Scout Bucks,” which they can use to subsidize their personal contributions toward scout activities.

“(The Christmas tree recycling project is) a chance for the boys to earn their keep,” Trace said.

He said the boys do all the physical work. This includes even the youngest scouts, who will help with collecting donations, clean up, unwinding wreaths and other smaller jobs if hauling the larger trees is too much for them. Although, Trace said, it usually isn’t.

“You’d be surprised at what an 11-year-old boy can do,” he said. “They have fun.”

Matthew Chaw agreed. The 14-year-old Redmond resident and scout will be participating in the tree recycling for the third time this year and said he “really (enjoys) the whole process,” though he particularly has fun jumping into the dumpsters they load the trees into to help pack the trees down.

“That’s my favorite part,” he said.

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