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Christmas trees recycled to raise funds for hospice

Last year's tree collection raised around £60,000. Photo: East Cheshire Hospice

What could be the biggest Christmas tree recycling scheme in the world is taking place in the North West this weekend. East Cheshire Hospice, based in Macclesfield, are collecting more than 4,500 trees from homes in Cheshire and recycling them, with money raised going to the hospice. They raised £60,000 last year doing same thing. A fleet of 30 vehicles will collect trees today.

The house-to-house operation which covers 200 square miles, is run entirely by helpers from East Cheshire Hospice. They collect trees from households around the region in return for a donation to the hospice.

Co-organiser Pete Chapman said: "We can't find a similar collection anywhere that's bigger than the collection we established many years ago. We were the first to carry out such a scheme and have shared our experience and resources with at least 12 other hospices but though they're growing, they haven't yet reached the same size and scale."

Their collection service for East Cheshire Hospice is now in its 13th year, raising more than £400,000 for the charity during that time.

The team collected more than 4,500 spent trees last year and ground them into mulch before it was mixed into compost for recycling back into the soil. Last year more than 48 tonnes of recycled mulch was treated in this environmentally-friendly way, raising funds at the same time.