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Starting A Christmas Decorating Business? You Should Know About The Hidden Cost Of Flocked Trees And Wreaths

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There's a fairly new service being offered in convenience-loving cities across America. Business-minded individuals who have the skills and patience to dazzle homes and commercial spaces with Christmas splendor are making some quick cash setting up Christmas decorations for those who can't or don't want to do it themselves. If you're planning on joining the ranks of those selling their eye for holiday design, you should know about flocked decorations and how they require special considerations when it comes time for recycling.

What Is Flock?

Flocked Christmas decorations are all the decorations that have textured fake snow on them. Flock sometimes comes pre-applied on Christmas trees and wreaths, but it can also be bought in a can an applied after decorations are hung. Flock usually consists of a mixture of cellulose or cotton fibers mixed with either mica or glitter to add shimmer. The mixture is then combined with a liquid adhesive and sprayed onto greenery.  

Why Can't Flocked Decorations Be Recycled?

Most Christmas trees and wreaths can be recycled after the holidays. Once they're cleared of their ornaments, lights, and garland, they can be left out on the curb for the garbage collector to pick up. Instead of taking them to the landfill, though, the trash collector will bring them to a recycling facility where they'll be chipped up and used as mulch and animal bedding, or composted. 

Flocked trees and wreaths, however, can't be recycled. The glitter and/or mica in the flock can't break down, and the adhesives in it can contaminate the soil. Small fibers of flock can also break free from the base material and contaminate the air. In fact flock is so dangerous that there is a lung disease specifically named after it. Flocked trees and wreaths have no business in green recycling bins; they have to be placed in trash dumpsters and hauled off to landfills.

Why Does This Matter To Your Business?

If you plan to include Christmas decoration pick-up as part of your business plan, you should know that your fees associated with disposing of flocked decorations will be greater than the disposal fees you pay for non-flocked trees and wreaths. There will be no place you can drag your customers' flocked decor and drop it off for recycling free-of-charge. Instead, you'll need a dumpster, and you'll need to chop any trees you pick up that won't fit into the dumpster down to a more reasonable size. 

If you plan on offering your customers only Christmas decor setup and no pick-up service, they'll have to dispose of the trees and wreaths themselves. Customers don't tend to respond favorably to hidden costs, so you'll want to make them well-aware that there will be fees outside of their normal recycling charges for the disposal of their flocked trees and wreaths.

How much more will they have to pay? It depends on the rates of their garbage collection service. In some cases, they'll need to chop their flocked trees up into 3 feet sections, and pay the cost of a standard garbage bag full of garbage for each section. This may not be a huge deal for a residential job with a single tree, but if you score a commercial job where you'll be setting up several trees, you can expect an unhappy customer.

If you're starting a Christmas-decorating business, beware of flocked trees and wreaths. Any greenery that has been flocked cannot be recycled and will be charged as trash by the local garbage collection service. If disposal of Christmas trees and wreaths is included in your pricing, minimize your overhead costs by investing in a dumpster rental as opposed to paying individually for each tree and wreath you'll be disposing of. And if you don't offer decoration pick-up, let your customers know ahead of time that they'll need to pay trash fees for any tree or wreath that has artificial snow on it when it comes time to dispose of their decorations.


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