EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Christmas has come and gone and many families are cleaning up the joyful mess of the holidays, including taking down real Christmas trees.

The question now is how do you properly dispose of them?

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, about 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. every year.

Now just days away from the New Year, many people are taking down their real Christmas trees wondering what to do with them.

Eyewitness News spoke to Ryan Reed from the PA Bureau of Forestry who says many people think to put their trees out with their trash for pick up, but this method is not recommended.

“Many waste management companies, they have no desire whatsoever to take something that can be naturally biodegraded.”

Reed says after taking off all the ornaments and decorations.. A live tree can be repurposed in ways such as being broken down into mulch, used for pieces, or a place for animals to seek cover.

“Another way to reuse your Christmas tree, if you have property, is to just simply take it out maybe to the corner of your property and just allow it to exist and break down naturally there.”

Another simple way to get rid of your tree is to do what Stroud Township Manager Daryl Eppley says, and donate it to your local municipality.

“We collect a few hundred trees every year. We have a great facility at Gaunt Road so we like to make the most of it.”

The township has been collecting trees for several years and repurposing them for property uses.

“Our yard waste facility has a grinder that will make them into mulch and also we have some organizations that will use the Christmas trees for fish habitats in lakes, ponds, and streams.”