CAMPAIGNERS believe a council should get to the root of the problem and recycle Christmas trees.

Christmas festivities generate an estimated three million tonnes of rubbish every year, more than half of which could be recycled.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on West Dorset District Council Stella Jones wrote to the council’s recycling officer suggesting that Christmas trees be collected for recycling rather than just treated as refuse.

Coun Jones said the council responded by agreeing that putting trees into landfill sites was a waste and created harmful methane gas but they had no plans to do anything.

The council believes waste reduction is a more sustainable solution than recycling, according to the reply.

Coun Jones said: “Are they saying that we should reduce waste by not having Christmas trees at all – or do they think it would be better for everyone to buy plastic trees?”

She is challenging the council to take a ‘more imaginative and proactive approach’ to recycling in the district.

Dr Sue Farrant, Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for West Dorset, also believes something should be done.

She said: “If you have a car you can take your tree to the nearest green waste recycling centre.

“But there are many people who are unable or unwilling to do that so the trees just get put out with the rubbish or dumped somewhere.

“It would be much more sensible to have mobile chippers which go round the district and set up in car parks or outside village halls. People then only have to bring their trees a short distance and they are turned into chippings which can be recycled. The council could even sell the chippings to off-set the cost.”

No-one at the district council was available for comment.

The advice from the Dorset For You website is that residents should take their Christmas trees to their local household recycling centres as with other green garden waste. It suggests people buy a UK-grown real tree with roots, which can be planted in the garden or kept in a pot for next year.