As the holidays come to a close, people across the country are taking down their lights, packing away their decorations, and disposing of their Christmas trees. Although many families choose to put up fake, reusable trees on the holidays, many still take the more traditional approach of getting a real tree to decorate. The problem with method, aside from needlessly killing a tree, is that these trees almost always end up in a landfill or dumped on public property after Christmas comes to and end.
A Reno man by the name of Vince Thomas was fed up with watching dead trees pile up every December, where they not only take up space, but pose a serious fire hazard, particularly in places like Nevada that regularly suffer from extreme heat and dryness. Thomas actually has experience in reducing fire hazards using a rather odd tool: his goats.
It’s a well known fact that goats will eat just about anything you put in front of them, but it wasn’t until just recently that Thomas considered adding Christmas trees to the menu. Thomas already used his goats to graze in areas along the Sierra’s eastern front, thus removing much of the fire-prone weeds in the area. Now he’s launching a new program with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District to use his goats to recycle used Christmas trees.
“I’ve seen them everywhere, all you have to do is get off the beaten path a ways and you’ll see trees all over,” said Thomas, as quoted by the Reno Gazette-Journal. “It was amazing to me to see how many Christmas trees people would just toss out there. All the trees will be taken to the Truckee Meadows fire station in Washoe Valley, which has a lot more room for all them. Then we’ll toss them over the fence and let the goats have at them.”