Cambridgeshire

Recycled Christmas trees net Cambridge Arthur Rank Hospice £26K

Volunteers with Christmas trees Image copyright Arthur Rank Hospice Charity
Image caption More than 1800 trees were collected by about 50 volunteers

Recycled Christmas trees have helped to raise more than £26,000 for a hospice.

About 100 volunteers spent the weekend collecting 1,860 real trees in 50 vans from parts of Cambridge in aid of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.

People were asked to register their trees in return for a donation. The trees were then taken to a waste centre and composted free of charge.

The charity said people had been "very generous", and the money raised was double last year's total.

More than 3,600 people with life-limiting illness in Cambridgeshire each year are cared for by the charity - through its Cambridge hospice, Wisbech day centre and in people's own homes.

The Christmas tree recycling scheme is part of ts bid to raise the £8.1m it takes to provide these services annually.

Image copyright Arthur Rank Hospice Charity
Image caption Trees were collected and composted in return for a donation to the hospice
Image copyright Arthur Rank Hospice Charity
Image caption The charity smashed its fundraising target of £15,000 this year

The scheme began in 2016 when the charity raised £3,500.

Last year it collected 1,000 trees and raised £12,600, but this year the charity was forced to make a last-minute appeal for more vans and volunteers to come forward to cope with increased demand.

"We hadn't quite expected this fourth year to be such a resounding success," fundraiser Bec Beattie said.

Within two days of appealing, the charity had found double the number of tree collectors.

Image copyright Arthur Rank Hospice Charity
Image caption A number of transport companies offered to move the trees free of charge

The Carbon Trust says composting trees is significantly more environmentally-friendly than using landfill.

The carbon footprint of a two-metre real Christmas tree with no roots is equivalent to 16kg of greenhouse gas emissions if it goes to landfill.

Chipping it reduces the carbon footprint by up to 80%, or around 3.5kg of greenhouse gas emissions.

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