Hungary needs about 2 million trees for the holiday season every year, Source: Depositphotos

40 tons of recycled Christmas trees can heat 85 homes for a month

40 tons of recycled Christmas trees can heat 85 homes for a month

The Hungarian city of Pécs started collecting discarded Christmas trees to use as biomass fuel

Last week, the Veolia Energia Magyarország thermal power plant, in the Hungarian city of Pécs, put an open call out for people to leave their discarded Christmas trees for collection on the streets. The power plant, which has two tanks that run on biomass plans to recycle the trees and use the energy for district heating.

Authorities plan to collect trees that households want to discard after the holidays, as well as the ones that have not been sold. Estimates show that around 40 tons of trees can heat 85 average-sized homes for an entire month. At the same time, Hungarian authorities have said that each year the Christmas holidays drum up sales of up to two million trees around the country.

Special treatment

The collection will take place between 9 and 31 January but people need to transport trees to waste collection sites. The trees need to be handed without any garlands, lights or other decorations so the power plant can start treatment, getting them ready for use.

The treatment includes grinding the pines down, as well as mixing them with other products like wood chips and agricultural by-products, due to their high resin content. This would make the produced fuel more efficient and maximise energy production.

According to a statement by Veolia Energia Magyarország, about 35 to 40 tons of Christmas trees would be able to heat 85 average-sized homes. Moreover, it would contribute to creating a local circular energy model, as without the effort from the power plant, the energy contained in the trees would be wasted.

Péter Rudolf, CEO of Pannon Hőerőmű Zrt., which operates the Pécs power plant, was quoted in a press statement explaining: “Another advantage is that it significantly increases the security of supply locally, as it procures the fuel needed for energy production from local sources. Thanks to this, there is absolutely no need to use imported fuels for district heating in the city of Pécs.”



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