The Christmas tree you threw out after the holiday just may prevent someone from losing their home in the next big storm.
The Department of Public Works normally collects discarded Christmas trees after the holiday season, brings them to the public works yard and then turns them into wood chips.
But not this year, Township Administrator Jeffry Bertrand said.
This year the all trees collected are going to Bradley Beach, where that town is using them to bolster its sand dunes – a practice that officials there have said helped to gird against the worst of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath.
“It’s a really good reuse,’’ Bertrand said at Wednesday’s meeting of the Township Committee. “And, frankly, it saves us money because we don’t have to spend the time turning them into chips.’’
Bradley Beach is in the process of rebuilding its sand dunes after the recent storms discarded Christmas trees are a big part of it.
The town’s 15 x 25-foot sand dunes were originally built in 1996 using 20,000 Christmas trees planted in the sand. Dune grass was then planted atop, which rooted around the buried trees, providing a sturdy seawall, officials said.
“Just the rooting system weaved itself through the trees which caused almost like a concrete wall for the hurricane that came through,” Richard Bianchi, Jr., Operating Supervisor for Bradley Beach Public Works, in December told WNET, public television in New York.
“A lot of people that live on the beachfront complained about the height of them (the dunes) and what we could do to lower them. Now, we’re getting praise for it,” Bianchi said.