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Environment & Energy

This Dumping into Ohio Lakes is Legal

Mosuito Reservoir
U.S. Army Corps of Enginneers
Mosquito Creek Lake

Ohio Department of Natural Resources crews were busy at Mosquito Creek Lake last  week, using an alternate means of disposing of this season’s Christmas Trees. It’s part of a program to keep old trees out of landfills and recycle them as natural habitat for fish and other life in the lakes. 

Matt Wolf of ODNR’s Division of Wildlife  is coordinating the effort in northeast Ohio.

“On average each year we recycle about 2,000 trees.  Probably about a third of those come from trees that were sold at the Lowes and Home Depots of the world.  The other two thirds that we pick up at the recycling centers were actually in people’s homes. All the lights were taken off, all the tinsel was taken off of them, to make these as environmentally friendly as possible when we place them in.”

Wolfe says the trees-in-the-lake recycling strategy keeps about 50 tons of solid waste out of Ohio landfills every year and creates both habitat for fish and “hot spots” for fishing.

Matt Wolf of the Division of Wildlife talks about the scope of the program

“We’ve done Atwood, Tappan, Berlin, Lake Milton, Pymatuning has received some, the Portage Lakes, West Branch.  So we definitely spread these around as far as where we place them at, just to make sure that anglers all across northeast Ohio can go to any one of these lakes and capitalize on these hot spots. “

Wolf says that of the Division of Wildlife’s five districts, northeast Ohio has the greatest number of large lakes.