NEW YORK - The city's annual curbside Christmas tree collection has kicked off.

The Department of Sanitation is now picking up and recycling trees at a number of designated areas to be grinded into wood chips and scattered in parks and community gardens citywide. The trees must be removed of all lights and decorations before being discarded.

For anyone hoping to extend the holiday and keep the tree up a little longer, there will be a number of designated drop-off locations for MulchFest on Jan. 11 and 12.

Curbside tree-cycling runs through Jan. 15. The city has collected about 140,000 trees in previous years.