How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays

Local Options to dispose, recycle or plant your Christmas tree?
(Note: this page is updated every year, right before and after Christmas!)

Christmas is over, the eggnog has spoiled, the relatives finally departed... and you're left packing up the lights and ornaments and wondering what to do with the Christmas tree.  Put it out by the curb and hope that the garbage men will take it away.  Not likely.  Put it in a corner of the yard and believe it may break down.  Not in your lifetime.  So what can you do?

Many cities and counties have recycling services to put your old Christmas tree to new life as a wildlife sanctuary, on a sand dune to protect the beach, chipped for mulch or as a bird feeder.  Look below on this page for both general tips and options specific to your local area:

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What Are Your Nearby Recycling Choices?

After the holidays, dont throw your natural tree away!  Here are some tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays. In general, you have these options:

  1. 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 details.
  2. Nonprofits that pick up trees: 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).
  3. Drop off your tree: Take your tree to a drop off recycling center. 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.
  4. Yard waste: Cut the tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.
  5. DIY: Recycle the tree yourself: chop it or shred it to use as mulch or in compost, or place in a naturalized part of your property as a bird habitat. See other ideas below.

Local Options

Unless otherwise noted, all stands, lights, decorations, and tinsel must be removed. Artificial Christmas trees can not be recycled. They must go out with the garbage.

General tips for most haulers:

  1. Remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, and other NON-Organic decorative materials. This includes tree stands also.
  2. Trees are often required to be cut into 4 ft lengths; so you may need to cut your tree in half. In some locales, the trees must be cut small enough pieces to fit inside your green (yard waste) container.
  3. 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 (see below).
  4. Trees are usually collected curbside for two weeks after Christmas.
  5. FREE Drop-off locations are also commonly available
  6. If you miss the collection period, you can cut-up the tree and place it in your green (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.

Click on the links below to find your local Christmas tree recycling options.

Specific local information is given below, where available. If no local information is provided, and you wish to add it, please use the feedback form!

Alabama ] [ Alaska ] [ Arkansas ] [ Arizona ] [ California ] [ Colorado ] [ Connecticut ] [ Delaware ] [District of Columbia] [ Florida ] [ Georgia ] [ Hawaii ] [ Idaho ] [ Illinois ] [ Indiana ] [ Iowa ] [ Kansas ] [ Kentucky ] [ Louisiana ] [ Maine ] [ Maryland ] [ Massachusetts ] [ Michigan ] [ Minnesota ] [ Mississippi ] [ Missouri ] [Montana] [Nebraska] [ Nevada ] [ New Hampshire ] [ New Jersey ] [ New Mexico ] [ New York ] [ North Carolina ] [ North Dakota ] [ Ohio ] [ Oklahoma ] [ Oregon ] [ Pennsylvania ] [ Rhode Island ] [ South Carolina ] [ South Dakota ] [ Tennessee ] [ Texas ] [ Utah ] [ Vermont ] [ Virginia ] [ Washington state ] [Washington, DC]  [ West Virginia ] [ Wisconsin ]  [ Wyoming ]

Other tips and ideas







New Jersey

New York




Washington State

Recycling Christmas Trees and Holiday Waste in the United Kingdom

You can recycle Christmas cards at all WH Smith stores, Tesco supermarkets including some Express stores, TK Maxx and Marks and Spencer as part of The Woodland Trust's Christmas Card Recycling Scheme. The collection runs from January 2 to January 30 and aims to recycle 100 million cards across the country.

London: Recycling your Christmas trees, cards and other Christmas waste and unwanted gifts:
For more information about recycling and where you can recycle your Christmas trees, cards, unwanted gifts and other household waste in your local borough visit the Receycle for London website, call 0845 3 313131 or text RECYCLE plus your full postcode to 63131 (texts cost 10p plus your normal network text charge).

Cheshire: You can recycle your Christmas tree in the garden waste containers at Gatewarth Community Recycling Centre, on Gatewarth Industrial Estate, Barnard Street and Woolston Community Recycling Centre, off New Cut Lane. The sites are open every day from 8am until 4pm.


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This page was updated on 30-Mar-2016