SEB Safety Tip of the Day: Don’t try to dispose of your Christmas tree in your fireplace.

One of the reasons I have an artificial tree is to avoid the hassle of getting rid of a live tree after the holidays are over. Granted, a lot of cities offer free curbside tree pickup these days or low-cost disposal at the local dump, but for those who don’t and who can’t just drag it out to the back of their property and toss it into the woods, there’s no quick and easy way to deal with it.

One option you might have if you have a fireplace in your home is to toss it in there. This is not generally recommended for several reasons, but if you’re going to go that route you should probably consider chopping it up first.

According to the McKinney Fire Department, officials responded to a call about a structure fire in the 4400 block of Rancho Del Norte Trail.

Officials said firefighters arrived to find that a Christmas tree had been placed into a home fireplace.

Only the top of the tree was in the fire, so the flames traveled down the tree and out of the fireplace, officials said.

McKinney Resident Tries to Dispose of Christmas Tree in Fireplace – NBCDFW
There’s a smart way and a dumb way to do this. This is the dumb way.

Damage was minimal, but one person was treated for smoke inhalation. The really sad part of this is that the town of McKinney offers Christmas tree composting services and will even pick up your tree for free.

I love that they have to tell people to remove their lights and ornaments from the tree. You know that means someone tried to have them pick up a tree with all of that still on it at some point in the past.

Learn from the stupidity of others. Don’t do this.

Recycling CFL bulbs just got easier. Home Depot offers to take in dead bulbs.

We’ve been using CFLs around the house for awhile now and overall we’re happy with them, but recycling them is a bit of a pain and tossing them in the trash is bad for the environment. Things just got a little easier, though, thanks to a new recycling program launched by Home Depot:

“We kept hearing from the community that there was a little bit of concern about mercury in the C.F.L.’s,” said Ron Jarvis, Home Depot’s senior vice president for environmental innovation, using the industry abbreviation for the bulbs. “And if the C.F.L.’s were in their house, how could they dispose of them?”

Until now, consumers had to seek out local hazardous waste programs or smaller retail chains willing to collect the bulbs for recycling, like Ikea and True Value. Some consumers have waited for retailers like Wal-Mart to have a designated recycling day. Others bought kits to mail the bulbs to a recycling facility.

[…] Home Depot’s program, which will accept any maker’s bulbs, will bring relatively convenient recycling within reach of most households. Mr. Jarvis estimated that 75 percent of the nation’s homes are within 10 miles of a Home Depot.

“We’re trying to do the right thing,” he said. “Some of the things that we do are for the community and not for the bottom line.”

Not being much of a home handyman I don’t go to Home Depot often, but this will help to ensure it happens more than it already does. Kudos to HD for being the first to start a nationwide program that’ll help promote the use of CFL bulbs.