Scouts branch out to collect Christmas trees, coats

Winter wraps bundled with annual recycling program

By Justin Runquist, Columbian Small Cities Reporter

Published:

 

Debris/dropoff options

Residents in most parts of the county can set out cut trees, no taller than 5 feet, in or next to their yard debris cart for their next yard debris collection day. Customers who exceed their 96-gallon limit on yard debris by setting out a tree will be charged a one-time fee of $2.67 to $3.25, depending on their collection area.

Vegetation from wreaths and swags also can be recycled with yard debris, once rings, bows, wires and all nonorganic material has been removed. Flocked and artificial trees cannot be recycled.

Natural Christmas trees also can be recycled at the following locations:

• Central Transfer Recycling, 11034 N.E. 117th Ave., 360-256-8482. $1 per tree, limit three trees.

• City Bark, 2419 N.E. Andresen Road, 360-253-8461. No charge.

• H&H Wood Recyclers, 8401 N.E. 117th Ave., 360-892-2805. $1 per tree.

• McFarlane's Bark, 8806 N.E. 117th Ave., 360-892-6125. $3 per tree.

• Triangle Resources, 612 S.E. Union St., Camas, 360-834-7253. $2 per tree.

• Washougal Transfer Station, 4020 S. Grant St., 360-835-2500. $1 per tree, limit three trees.

• West Van Materials Center, 6601 N.W. Old Lower River Road, 360-737-1727. $1 per tree, limit three trees.

Debris/dropoff options

Residents in most parts of the county can set out cut trees, no taller than 5 feet, in or next to their yard debris cart for their next yard debris collection day. Customers who exceed their 96-gallon limit on yard debris by setting out a tree will be charged a one-time fee of $2.67 to $3.25, depending on their collection area.

Vegetation from wreaths and swags also can be recycled with yard debris, once rings, bows, wires and all nonorganic material has been removed. Flocked and artificial trees cannot be recycled.

Natural Christmas trees also can be recycled at the following locations:

• Central Transfer Recycling, 11034 N.E. 117th Ave., 360-256-8482. $1 per tree, limit three trees.

• City Bark, 2419 N.E. Andresen Road, 360-253-8461. No charge.

• H&H Wood Recyclers, 8401 N.E. 117th Ave., 360-892-2805. $1 per tree.

• McFarlane’s Bark, 8806 N.E. 117th Ave., 360-892-6125. $3 per tree.

• Triangle Resources, 612 S.E. Union St., Camas, 360-834-7253. $2 per tree.

• Washougal Transfer Station, 4020 S. Grant St., 360-835-2500. $1 per tree, limit three trees.

• West Van Materials Center, 6601 N.W. Old Lower River Road, 360-737-1727. $1 per tree, limit three trees.

As Boy Scouts throughout Clark County wound down their annual Christmas tree collection Saturday afternoon, David Cramblett paused and took stock of the heaping pile of coats the community donated this year.

On top of carting off those old Christmas trees at the end of the holidays, Scout troops all over Clark County head out each January to collect warm coats for people in need during the winter months. Cramblett, one of the coordinators of this year’s tree recycling drive, oversaw a group of nearly 400 Scouts and their families east of Interstate 205.

Last year, more than 380 Scouts and nearly 300 adults in the Boy Scouts’ Columbia Gorge District — located between Washougal and I-205 — pitched in to snag about 4,300 trees and 700 coats.

“The coats are something new,” Cramblett said. “We’ve been pushing that more and more each year.”

As the crews continued to unload the old evergreens from their truck beds late Saturday afternoon, Cramblett said he anticipated they would outdo themselves this year.

“We’re at over 500 at this location,” said Cramblett, who spent the day working at MacFarlane’s Bark in Vancouver, where many of the trees and coats were dropped off. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with over 1,000 coats when all is said and done.”

Each year, the coats go to Friends of the Carpenter, where they’re cleaned before being distributed to the homeless population and others in need.

Joey Fuerstenburg, the scoutmaster for Troop 545, has partaken in more than a dozen tree recycle drives on either side of the Columbia River in recent years. And this year, things were looking up for his troop.

“At least from my perspective, we collected more coats this year than we did last year,” Fuerstenburg said. “About a dozen bags of coats.”

Mike Knotts, whose son is in Fuerstenburg’s troop, joined the event for his first time Saturday. Late in the afternoon, Knotts said Troop 545 had collected more than 200 coats, and he estimated the group had picked up close to 400 trees.

“The boys worked really hard,” Knotts said. “It was a fundraiser, but it was also nice to give back to the community and collect coats for those that are in need.”

City Councilor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, who organized the tree drive for the Boy Scouts’ Fort Vancouver District, estimated her cohorts picked up more than 150 coats on the west side of Vancouver.

“I’ve got a car full of coats,” McEnerny-Ogle said. “And nice looking coats.”

It was also far more trees than she anticipated. McEnerny-Ogle estimated the group may have collected as many as 8,000 trees overall just from that side of the city.

“Oh my gosh, more trees than we’ve seen in a long, long time,” she said. “I can’t remember when we saw so many trees, and so many huge trees. It’s kind of a positive sign of the times.”