Boy Scouts hold annual Christmas tree collection in San Ramon

With the new year comes the time to take down Christmas lights and decorations. Some local Boy Scout troops assisted folks in the East Bay with discarding their Christmas trees the right way Saturday morning. 

As the Boy Scout motto says, "Be prepared," and Boy Scout Troops 834 and 874 did just that. Several cars with trailers were lined up alongside rented moving vans to make the pickup possible. 

"Today we are collecting trees around the San Ramon area. We split the city with another troop, Troop 874... We take in information about people who have real Christmas trees like these and we collect them for the local waste management ACI to pick up," said Aarav Manjunath, senior patrol leader of Troop 834 told KTVU. 

Troops 834 and 874 began offering tree pickup from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. across San Ramon. All folks in the area had to do to say goodbye to their holiday evergreens was register on their website.

The collected trees were taken to Alameda County Industries in San Leandro to be processed. The scouts hope this means fewer trees will be disposed of improperly. 

"If it ends up in the recycling, it ends up going into the trash. It goes into a landfill and that's not as good as recycling them into wood chips," Manjunath said. 

Manjunath has been a scout for over a decade, and he says there's one thing that keeps him coming back:

"It's fun…It's very youth-led, youth-oriented, lets us make mistakes and lets us learn from those mistakes," Manjunath said.

This tree collection has been going on for decades, and one assistant scoutmaster has been participating for more than 20 years.

"Teach our youth to not only enjoy the outdoors but also to appreciate it and protect it…It also helps us with raising funds, so they can go to the outdoors," Rob Motal, assistant scout leader with Troop 874 told KTVU. 

The scouts were unable to accept flocked trees, and participants were asked to strip their trees of all decors to make the recycling process easier. 

The Boy Scouts are also expecting to have a good time while they are out in the community. 

"They are gonna have fun, they are gonna be out working pretty hard and at the end of the day they'll feel really good about it," Alec Hurd, scoutmaster of Troop 834 told KTVU.