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Christmas tree recycling

Scroll down this page for local South Carolina recycling and responsible disposal options for holiday waste, from Christmas trees and wreathes, to lights, ornaments, wrapping and packaging. Many towns and cities offer curbside collection, even for Christmas trees. Counties and unicorporated areas typically have a number or drop-off locations.

Christmas trees are usually colllected from December 26th through the first 2 or 3 weeks in January.  Whether your tree is picked up from your curb,Grinding Christmas trees into mulch or you drop it off, be sure to remove all  remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands,  other NON-Organic decorative materials and other materials that are not part of the original tree. This includes tree stands also.  Flocked trees are occasionally accepted (call to verify), but not artificial trees. Large trees (larger than the standard 6 - 7 ft tree) may need to be cut in half to be acceptable by your curbside garbage hauler.

The trees and wreathes are usually chipped and made into a mulch which is ofteny made available, free to city or county residents.

Ornaments and light strings are usually placed into your curbside collection bin.  Some localities have year-round collection centers. The same is true of wrapping paper and boxes.

Always follow the links (usually the blue, underlined name of the city or county) below for updated information, as these agencies often wait until the last minute to change dates or update their information. If your area is not specifically mentioned below, call your trash collection agency and ask!

South Carolina January 2021 Curbside, Local Recycling and Disposal Options for Trees, Lights and Other Holiday Waste

South Carolina January 2021 Curbside, Local Recycling and Disposal Options for Trees, Lights and Other Holiday Waste

  • Anderson County - Drop off areas are located at Big Oaks Recreation area, Mount Lebanon Elementary School, Twin Lakes, Coneross, and Poplar Springs boat ramps. Before you bring a tree, make sure all the ornaments and tinsel are off of the branches. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will collect trees to use as fish attractors at Lake Hartwell. Only natural trees will be recycled. Artificial trees will not be accepted. Trees can be brought by through February 14, 2020.
  • Charleston City, SC - Charleston's Curbside collection crews will be picking up January 6, 2021 and January 7, 2021. The trees need to be in place by the curb by 7 am on January 6, 2021.
    There will be no residential curbside collection on December 24, December 25, or January 1. Collection will resume on December 26 and January 2nd with holiday makeup days occurring on the day following your regularly scheduled pick up day. Crews will be working through Saturday. Please ensure that your cart is out for pickup before 7am.
    You can also take your trees to Capitol Market for recycling through January 10, 2021. This is a contactless recycling program. Just drop off fresh, undecorated trees in Capitol Market's Outdoor Market at the northern side of the Outdoor Market pavilion, closest to the rear parking lot that runs parallel to the pavilion. Signage around the drop-off location will be visible as well. Charleston's Public Works Department will gather all trees following the collection period and will be chipping the trees to become mulch and compost. Capitol Market is open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. New Year's Eve hours are 10 am to 4 pm..
    Charleston residents can also drop their trees off at the Bees Ferry Landfill in West Ashley and receive a free bag of mulch.
    Mattoon, SC will pickup trees curbside between January 4, 2021 to January 8, 2021. Trees must be placed at curbside for pickup by 7 a.m. January 4, 2021.
  • Charleston County, SC - Environmental Management Department is asking citizens to go green this holiday season by recycling Christmas trees and by following other helpful tips to lessen the environmental impact.
    To recycle Christmas trees and greenery, remember to remove all decorations such as lights, tinsel, ornaments, etc.
    Residents can drop off their tree and receive a free bag of compost at the Bees Ferry Landfill (1344 Bees Ferry Road in West Ashley) . Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm and Saturday from 8 am to 3:30 pm All tinsel and ornaments must be removed from the Christmas trees before recycling. Charleston County residents who live within a municipality can recycle their trees without going to the Bees Ferry Landfill. These residents can put their Christmas tree on the curb for their municipality's yard waste pick-up or take it to their nearest convenience center. The municipality's haulers will then take the trees and other yard waste to Charleston County's Bees Ferry Landfill, where it is transformed into compost. Residents should check with their municipality to find out their yard waste pick-up day and other requirements.
    - Bees Ferry Landfill - you can also drop your tree off at the landfill
    The landfill will be closed on December 25.
    The landfill will resume normal hours on December 26 from 8 am to 4 pm.
    The landfill will be closed on January 1
    The landfill will resume normal hours on January 2 from 8 am to 4 pm.
  • Columbia, SC Area - - Drop off locations. Remove all lights, tinsel and ornaments from the tree. Remove tree from stand. Drop off trees only - no wreaths, garland, or other greenery. Remove tree from bag and remove any string, wire, or ties on the tree. The service is available in Richland and Lexington counties. from December 26 to January 7, 2021.  Phone: 803-733-1139. Email: [email protected].
    Drop off locations:
    City of Columbia:
     Compost Facility 121 Humane Ln, Columbia (off Shop Rd across from SPCA). M-F 8:30 AM - 5 PM
    Ball Park Road-301 Ball Park Rd, Lexington, M-W-F, Sat 7 am to 7 pm, Sun 3-7PM.
    Bush River Rd- 6109 Bush River Rd Columbia. M-W-F, Sat 7 AM - 7 PM, Sun 3 - 7PM.
    Caughman Rd Park- 2800 Trotter Rd Hopkins M-F 2-9PM, Sat 9-8 PM, Sun 1-6PM
    Chapin- 103 Distant Lane ,Chapin . M-W-F, Sat 7 AM - 7 PM, Sun 3 - 7 PM.
    Clemson- 900 Clemson Rd Columbia 29229-T, TH, F, Sat, Sun 9-6pm.
    Crooked Creek Park - 1098 Old Lexington Highway, Chapin. (next to Chapin Middle School). Daily 7:30 am to 11 pm.
    Edmund C&D Landfill- 498 Landfill Lane, Lexington. M-W-F, Sat 7 AM to 7PM, Sun 3PM7PM.
    Edmund-325 Landfill Lane, Lexington. M-W-F, Sat 7 AM - 7 PM, Sun 3 - 7 PM.
    Fort Jackson Recycling Center - Building #5671 on Lee Road, Fort Jackson. (Enter the Fort through Gate 2 on Forest Drive. After Burger King, turn left onto Lee Road.) MF, 7 am to 3 pm, Sat 8:30 - 3:30 PM.
    Friarsgate Park - 1712 Chadford Rd., Irmo. M-F 2-9PM, Sat 9-8 PM, Sun 1-6PM
    Hollow Creek Tree Farm - 228 Windmill Road, Gilbert. Daily 8 AM to 5PM
    Lexington Co. Sandhills Collection Center - 3241 Charleston Hwy., Cayce. M-W-F, Sat 7 am to 7 pm, Sun 3 am to 7 pm.
    Lower Richland Drop off Location- 10531 Garners Ferry Rd Eastover, 29044. M-Sat 8-5pm. Sun 12:30-5pm
    Polo Road Park - 730 Polo Road, Columbia. M-F 2-9PM, Sat 9-8 PM, Sun 1-6PM
    Richland Co. C&D Landfill - 1070 Caughman Road, North (off Monticello). M-F 8 am to 6:30 PM, Sat 12:30 - 5:30 PM
    Richland County Tennis Center-7500 Parklane Road, Columbia M-TH, 9 am to 9 pm; Fri, 9 am to 6 pm; Sat, 9 am to 3 pm
    Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church- 5503 Sunset Blvd. Lexington, SC 29072; Daily 8 AM to 5PM
    Seven Oaks Park - 200 Leisure Lane, Columbia. (Near the intersection of St. Andrews and Piney Grove Roads.) Daily 8 AM to 5PM
    South Carolina State Farmers Market - 3483 Charleston Highway, West Columbia. Daily 8 AM to 5PM
    Southeast Collection Center-538 Martin Neese Rd, Swansea M,W F& Sat 7 AM to 7PM Sun 3 PM to 7PM
    St. Andrews Park- 920 Beatty Rd, Columbia 29210. Open Mon, Wed, Fri 2 -9 PM, Sat 9 am to 8 PM, Sun 1-6PM
    Free Mulch from recycled trees will be available to the public at: Richland County Tennis Center (7500 Parklane Rd. Columbia) and Seven Oaks Park (200 Leisure Lane, Columbia, SC 29210; near the intersection of St. Andrews & Piney Grove roads) Saturday, January 9, 2021 from 8:30 AM until the mulch runs out.
  • Dorchester County - Residents who live within the municipal limits of the City of North Charleston or the Town of Summerville can place their trees curbside for pick-up as part of their regularly scheduled curbside yard debris removal service.
    North Charleston and Summerville residents should place trees near the right-of-way and should be mindful not to place trees in the streets or block fire hydrants, mailboxes or driveways. Prior to placing trees curbside or disposing of trees at one of the above convenience sites, residents should remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands, other NON-Organic decorative materials and all other materials that are not part of the original tree.
    All Dorchester County residents may dispose of Christmas trees at one of the below sites:
    Miles Road Convenience Site, 130 Suburban Lane, Summerville; Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
    Sandy Pines Convenience Site, 374 Sandy Pines Lane, Dorchester, SC. Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Tuesday & Thursday 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

  • Greenville (City), SC - The City of Greenville annually holds the Grinding of the Greens Christmas tree recycling program. For the convenience of city residents, trees can be placed at the curb for collection on regularly scheduled pick-up days or taken to 1 of 4 convenient locations for recycling. All trees must be free of debris such as ornaments, tinsel, ribbons and lights to be recycled. Drop-off locations include:
    Gower Park at Laurel Creek Lane and Laurens Road
    Holmes Park at Twin Lakes Road and Holmes Drive
    Timmons Park, at Oxford Street and Blackburn Drive
    West Greenville Recreation Center at 8 Rochester Street
    The locations listed will be open through mid-January. Curbside pick-up within the city limits will continue for as long as needed.
    Other Christmas Recycling: All holiday boxes, tissue paper and wrapping paper (except foil-lined) can be recycled at the curb and at the following locations:
    City's Stone Avenue Recycling Center at 800 East Stone Avenue
    North Greenville Recycling Center at 514 Rutherford Road.

    Mulch is available at Twin Chimneys Landfill. Call the Twin Chimneys Landfill at (864) 243-9672 for more information. The Greenville County website also has more information about mulch.

  • Greenville County - is offering a convenient way to recycle your real Christmas trees after the holidays; it's the annual "Grinding of the Greens" event sponsored by the Greenville County Solid Waste Division and Recycling. Real Christmas trees are 100 percent biodegradable; thus can be ground into mulch, which will be available, free of charge to the public at the Twin Chimneys Landfill. By recycling Christmas trees, precious landfill space will be preserved. Don't forget about Christmas wrapping paper, cards, and gift boxes! These items can be recycled too. Provide some peace on the Earth and goodwill toward the environment.
  • Horry County, SC - Grinding of the Greens from December 26 to January 26. Horry County Solid Waste Authority. Phone: 843-347-1651. Email: [email protected] . The Horry County Solid Waste Authority encourages you to take one extra step to make the holidays green and bright, RECYCLE your natural Christmas tree after the season. Simply remove all lights, decorations (including tinsel) and the tree stand. Then, bring your tree to a designated area to be chipped and RECYCLED into FREE landscaping mulch. The mulch will be available to all citizens while supplies last. Bring your own container to collect the mulch. No wreaths, please. Contact (843)347-1651 for more detai
  • Spartanburg, SC - Spartanburg County residents can drop off their Christmas trees, free or ornaments at the county's 17 recycling centers which are all accepting discarded trees. The trees will be ground into mulch. The landfill will accept real trees, to be ground into much, and also artificial trees. Spartanburg City Residents will have curbside pick up of trees with normal trash and yard waste. Inside the city, there is no end date for crews to pick up the trees.
  • City of Sumter, SC - City residents may place their trees curbside and the City will collect trees during the first from 2 weeks of January
  • Sumter County - Every Sumter resident will have an opportunity to donate their real Christmas tree. Before donating your tree to the "Grinding of the Greens", please note the following: Only live Christmas trees will be accepted-no wreaths, garland, greenery or tree stands. Please remove all tinsel, lights and decorations. 
    You can donate your tree at the following locations:
    • County Recycling Centers: Rainaire Boulevard, Stamey Livestock Road, Cane Savannah Road, Pinewood Road, Queen Chapel Road, Bethel Church Road, Alligator Branch Road, Pleasant Grove Road and Spencer Road
    • At the entrance to Dillon Park (off Frontage Road) across from the S.C. National Guard Armory.
    On Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, from 7 to 9 a.m. at Dillon Park, FREE MULCH made from the Christmas trees will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can bring containers or bags, tools to pick it up and a way to haul. Even if you didn't donate a tree you can still receive mulch. For more information on the Grinding of the Greens, call Sumter County Public Works at 803-436-2241 or City of Sumter Public Works at 803-436-2558.