Christmas tree today, gone tomorrow

Annual Falmouth High School Band tree recycling fundraiser is a win-win
Tree pick up day: (left to right in the truck) Jack Trowbridge and Tyler Hampton and Mr. Buddy Hampton. Photo by Sarah Fredd.

In what has become an annual tradition in Falmouth, members of the Falmouth High School Band and their hard working parents will again set out on Martin Luther King Day Weekend on Saturday, January 18, 2014, to pick up and recycle Christmas trees.  Once Christmas is over and the decorations and ornaments are safely stored away, celebrators who opted for a live tree are tasked with its removal.

Options are mostly limited to carting it off to the town transfer station, but there is an inexpensive, good for the environment and much easier way to get back that spot in your living room.

For only $10, you can have you tree picked up and recycled. No fuss. No muss. You need only make a call (or send an email), have your tree at the end of your drive by 8 a.m. and you must live in Falmouth.

Sally Hampton, who's been part of the fundraiser for four years, can't remember the exact year it started, but said the son of the fundraiser's founder was a teen then and is now in his 30s.

The fundraiser, according to Hampton, is a "win-win for the town." Residents get their trees removed, the trees are recycled and the FHS band's coffers are filled.

With the right number of volunteers--students and parents with trucks--the entire project from start to finish will take approximately 6 to 7 hours, according to Hampton. Hampton said the volunteers employ a rather old by tried and true system in which they plot the scheduled pick ups on a map and divvy up the town into sections.

Trees are picked up and delivered to the Blacksmith Shop Farms down the road from the high school where they are recycled into mulch.

Last year, 600 trees were picked up by the band of merry musicians and their folks. Half the money raised funds a band trip, the other half goes towards repairing instruments, purchasing new instruments and competitions.

An added bonus

Last year Falmouth Band Parents added a new element to the fundraiser--a kind of local pay it forward. In addition to the $10 for the tree pick up, participants were asked to leave a plastic bag of nonperishable food items with the tree. Nearly 100 lbs of food was collected during the tree pick up and donated to the Falmouth Service Center. This year, the band is hoping more people will donate food to this important community organization.

The only drawback? Participants must live in Falmouth. But Hampton said she would love to see the program implemented by other school groups on the Cape.

How to participate

If you live in Falmouth and are interested in having your Christmas tree picked up and recycled, call 508-540-8915 or email [email protected] Be sure to include your full name, complete address, the village you live in, your email address and telephone number. If an email address is given, a reminder will be sent to participants. Checks payable to Falmouth Band Parents, Inc. may be placed in a plastic bag and attached to the top of the tree. Advanced payment (including address and contact info) may be sent to: Falmouth Band Parents, PO Box 196, Falmouth, MA 02541. Reservations should be made by Monday, January 13, 2014. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on