Omaha area Boy Scouts help with recycling Christmas trees

The scouts say their recycling helps keep trees out of metro landfills.
A local Boy Scouts troop helps with recycling Christmas trees in Omaha
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 3:54 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A group of metro area Boy Scouts are working on a Christmas present that was not under the tree.

Members of Troop 558 received the gift of learning about hard work and helping others. The troops also learned about recycling.

“I do decks, construction, I have my own business, I’ve been doing it for a couple of years,” said Troop 588 volunteer Mike Pfeilsticker. “That’s what I use my equipment for, usually comes in pretty handy for this I guess too.”

Pfeilsticker is using his equipment to drop off Christmas trees at one of Omaha’s recycling sites. He’s volunteering to help his son’s Boys Scout troop.

“They sign up online, and then we get a list from the organization, and we come pick them up at their house, and drop off a tag at their door that says ‘thanks for recycling your trees with us.’”

Meanwhile, Pfeilsticker’s son and the other troops do the heavy lifting.

“He had to be up this morning, he didn’t want to get out of bed today. He doesn’t have school but this is our second day of him still having to get up on Christmas break and get to work, so its good for him to get up and have to do something.”

The troops know that something is helping others.

Omaha has once again opened its drop-off sites for Christmas tree disposal.

“They don’t have to dump it off, and they don’t waste it, and they can decompose and be reused,” said Sam Pfeilsticker.

“I think it’s really helpful to help people around the community because that’s what scouting is all about,” said Ezra Pfile with Troop 558. “Like you take a lot of merit badges that help you know how to help others in the community.”

The scouts also know their efforts will keep all of these trees stay out of the landfill.

“Right now there’s just a lot of tree waste and stuff,” said Abby Pfile. “With us using trees for almost everything, being able to recycle it even in our small community for what we do for it, its really nice.”

The volunteer parents are setting an example showing the scouts this experience is rewarding and all about the season.

“It’s just nice to get them all picked up for people and help them out.”

These troops will pick up more than 50 Christmas trees in two days.

The City of Omaha has six Christmas tree recycling sites open through Jan. 10. Many families are already using the service.

Rafal Doloto and his family usually use an artificial Christmas tree, but this year the children insisted on a real tree.

“My daughter was adamant about it so we did a lot of ornaments that she did in school,” Doloto said. “So we had a couple of ornaments here and there and some traditional polish ornaments.”

Now the family’s Christmas centerpiece is just another tree in the big pile at the drop-off at Tranquility Park, but none of these trees will end up in the landfill.

“I think that’s the right way to do it. And the city parks can just come out here, and just go and mulch it and use the mulch somewhere else.