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Chicho's Pizza in Virginia Beach collecting Christmas Trees again this year

Have a Christmas tree to recycle? Chicho's Pizza is collecting people's Christmas trees that will be placed on dunes to help with beach erosion in the Outer Banks.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The sand dunes on the Outer Banks coastline could use your help, or better yet, your Christmas tree.

Chicho’s Pizza is holding their annual tree drive, but owner Matt Potter said it’s going to look different than past years.

“We started the first year we expected 100 trees and we got about 1,000. Then last year, it just blew up and it was a really good cause,” he said.

The pine piled up in the parking lot in 2019. Potter said it became a safety issue and they are doing it in a more organized way this year.

“We’re having the main hub, which is going to be VB National Golf Course over at 2500 Tournament Drive,” he explained. “We are doing our tree drive there on the 2nd and 3rd then the 9th and 10th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.”

Potter plans to get about 3,000 Christmas trees this year. He said because of that, he’s also allowing people to drop them off at five Chicho’s locations on January 9th from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

"That will be included Strawbridge, 29th Street, Shore Drive, Greenbrier, and the Hickory locations," he said.

On January 16th, he and volunteers will head down to the Outer Banks and plant the trees to help with erosion. Potter said they are still looking for volunteers. If you are interested, email mpotter@chichospizza.com.

“Unfortunately, we can’t do it in Virginia Beach because there are no programs set up, but we all go to the Outer Banks every summer, every spring, even in the wintertime we go there,” he explained.

Potter said his sponsors include, Virginia Beach National Golf Club, Bulldog Lawn Services, and Skimunnity House. He said if you live on the Peninsula, you can drop your tree off Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Dare Marina & Yacht Sales in Yorktown.

If those times or locations don’t for you, Virginia Beach city leaders say you can carry your empty tree to the curb. Crews will pick it up on your normal collection day. You can also:

  • Landfill and Resource Recovery Center: Residents who take their trees to the City’s Landfill and Resource Recovery Center, located at 1989 Jake Sears Road, will be happy to know that their trees will be chipped and used for mulch by City landscape crews. Trees must be free of their stand, lights, ornaments and tinsel.
  • Beaches: Residents should NEVER place trees on area beaches. Beach Operations and the City’s Landscape Services work to manage our beautiful sand dunes. Trees contain a lot of sap, and once dry are a fire hazard. Trees can also end up in the water and pose a safety concern for marine life, boaters and swimmers.
  • Return to Seller: Some of the local nurseries have take-back programs. Check with the location where you purchased your tree to see if they take them back. If not, check with one that does, and they might take yours as well.
  • Local Drop-Offs: Local businesses have offered to accept trees. Be on the look-out for announcements via social media or local news stations for businesses that are collecting trees.
  • Faux Tree: If your fake tree is a bit scraggly and you no longer have a use for it, consider donating. Virginia Beach is full of wonderful charitable organizations that would gladly accept your donated tree.

RELATED: Volunteers haul more than 2,500 trees for Outer Banks erosion project