If you had a live Christmas tree this year and now wonder what to do with it Hawkeye is here to help! What if you want to recycle it (how? where?) or if not, dispose of it (how, how much?) Many cities and counties have now have recycling services to put your old Christmas tree to good use as a wildlife sanctuary, on a sand dune to protect the beach, chipped for mulch or as a bird feeder.
What Are Your Recycling Choices?
There are tons of environmentally friendly options to dispose of your tree. Here are some tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays.
- Curbside pick-up for recycling – Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the 2 weeks following Christmas. There are often requirements for size, removing ornaments, flocking, etc; see below for where and how to recycle your tree most easily, in your local area.
- Call for an appointment to have a non-profit in your area pickup your tree. Some boy scout troops are offering a pickup service for a small donation (often $5).
- Take your tree to a drop off recycling center. Home Depot is collecting Christmas trees in many areas, free of charge. Most counties have free drop-off locations throughout the county. Usually, you may take up to two trees to any of the following drop-off locations at no charge.
- Cut the tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.
Here are some general tips to make disposing of your real Christmas tree easier and acceptable for those hauling it off.
- Remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, and other NON-Organic decorative materials. This includes tree stands also.
- Trees are often required to be cut into 4 ft lengths; so you may need to cut your tree in half. In some areas, the trees must be cut small enough pieces to fit inside your green (yard waste) container or on the curb for pick up.
- Flocked trees will often need to be chopped-up and disposed with regular solid waste. Each area has different requirements, so be sure to check with your hauler’s website.
- Trees are usually collected curbside for two weeks after Christmas.
- FREE Drop-off locations are also commonly available
- If you miss the collection period, you can cut-up the tree and place it in your yard waste container for pick-up on the regularly scheduled service day; assuming your area has a yard waste collection program to which you subscribe.