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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Oh, Christmas Tree . . . Now what?!

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The presents are unwrapped and we are headed into the new year!  That means it is time to get rid of that big tree in your living room before it loses all its needles!  But where can it go?

Many communities in the area have yard waste sites or drop off sites where Christmas trees can be recycled.  Below is a helpful list for local residents by county.

Chippewa County

In Chippewa Falls trees can be brought to the yard waste site on Riverside Drive.  The area will be open 24 hours a day starting on December 26th.

The towns of Anson, Birch Creek, Eagle Point, Lafayette, Lake Holcombe, Tilden, villages of Cadott and Lake Hallie also have yard waste sites where trees can be dropped off.

The village of Boyd as well as the cities of Bloomer and Stanley offer curbside pickup of Christmas trees for residents

Eau Claire County

If you live in Eau Claire County, you can recycle your tree by dropping it off in the Carson Park parking lot.  As a part of the Merry Mulch program, trees will becollected until January 19th.  Later, those trees will ne turned into mulch and made available to county residents for free!

Dunn County

Dunn County residents, with a solid waste permit, may dispose of their Christmas tree at any of the Dunn County Area Collection Stations which have a yard waste site.  These sites are located in Colfax, Boyceville and Elk Mound.

The Dunn County Highway Department is collecting Christmas trees at their service gate, just off Stokke Parkway, through the end of January. Just toss the tree onto the pile to be chipped and recycled!

The City of Menomonie will also be accepting Christmas trees at the following drop off sites; Elmwood Park, Wakanda Park, and the City Solid Waste Site during business hours.

Winter Pet Care

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Many people believe that because their pets have a coat of fur they are able to withstand the cold better than humans. This is not the case. Like us, animals are accustomed to the warmth of indoor shelter and cold weather can as hard on them as it is on people. Forcing animals to be outside during harsh weather can lead to serious illness.

Follow these guidelines to protect your pets in cold weather:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible in cold weather. When they go out, stay with them. When you’re cold enough to go in, your pet is probably ready to return inside too.
  • Make sure that your pet always has fresh, non-frozen drinking water. Animals who don’t have clean accessible water will turn to gutters and puddles when they can drink deadly antifreeze, oil and other chemicals.
  • Your pet’s health can also affect how long it can stay outdoors. Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can compromise a pet’s ability to regulate their own body heat.
  • Very young and old animals are especially vulnerable to the cold. The cold can be especially hard on the joints of older animals that become stiff and tender. Stay directly behind older pets when they are climbing stairs. Stiff and arthritic pets can experience significant injury if they slip on ice, so beware of conditions when you walk them.
  • If you live near a pond or lake, be especially careful of ice. Animals can easily fall through the ice and it is difficult for them to escape on their own. Keep your pet on a leash and stay with them when outdoors.
  • Pets who go outdoors can pick up rock salt, ice, and chemical ice melts in their foot pads. Keep your pet’s pads from getting chapped and raw by wiping their feet with a washcloth when they come inside.
  • Beware of your pet becoming trapped. Animals left outdoors can be very resourceful in trying to find shelter. They dig into snow banks and dive under porches, into window wells, and cellars where they can become trapped. Always provide warm, accessible shelter and watch them closely.
  • Check under your car hood, honk, or rap on the hood before you start your car or truck engine. A cold cat will curl up against almost anything–including engines–to stay warm.

Warning, Watch, Advisory – Oh My!

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If you’ve lived in Wisconsin long enough, you know all about the National Weather Service’s winter storm warnings and watches.  But what you may not know, is what exactly they mean!  Here is a breakdown for you on the differences between watches, warnings and advisories:

Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm conditions (heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain) are possible within the next 36-48 hours. Continue monitoring the weather forecast.

Winter Storm or Ice Storm Warning – A significant winter event is occurring or will begin in the next 24 hours.  The combination of snow, sleet, freezing rain and moderate winds will impact travel and outdoor activities. An  Ice Storm Warning is issued when mostly freezing rain is expected with ice accumulations of ¼ inch or more within a 12-hour period. Take necessary precautions – consider canceling travel plans.

Blizzard Warning – A dangerous event with winds that are 35 mph or greater in combination with falling and/or blowing snow that reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less for a duration of at least 3 hours.

Wind Chill Advisory – Issued for wind chills between -20 and -34 combined with winds for three hours or more.

Wind Chill Warning – Issued for wind chills below -35 or colder combined with winds for three hours or more.

Be sure to listen for these notices, and follow the recommended precautions!

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