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Recycle that tree, Charlie Brown

No one wants to admit the good times are almost over, but let's face it: your Christmas tree is on its way out.

If you have a real Christmas tree (not a plastic one that "looked like it was made of green pipe cleaners," as Ralphie's dad in "A Christmas Story" put it), the city will offer a Christmas Tree recycling program from Jan. 3 to Jan. 14.

The city said residents can drop off trees at Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The centers are located at:

*Domino Lane and Umbria Street

*State Road & Ashburner Street

*3033 S. 63rd Street

Trees should be stripped of ornaments, tinsel, squirrels, mother-in-laws and whatever else you stuffed in 'em before you drop them off to be recycled.

If you leave your former Christmas tree on the curb, it won't be recycled. It'll be trashed. And you'll be considered by friends and neighbors as something of an environmental Grinch.

And that's not fun.