Christmas tree recycling

Scroll down this page for local District of Columbia 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!

District of Columbia: Where and How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays January 2022

  • Washington, D.C. - Holiday trees (as the District of Columbia government is calling a Christmas Tree) and wreaths will be collected from the curb in front of your home between December 26 and the last Friday in January and will be composted.
    Contact 311 to schedule your collection. Holiday trees and greenery in the nation's capital will be collected from Department of Public Works-serviced households. Place them outside where your trash is normally collected. They will be composted. Residents in DPW-serviced households should place their trees and greenery where their trash and recyclables are normally collected. Trees and greenery collected during these three weeks (and those brought to the Fort Totten and Benning Road transfer stations) will be composted and made available to residents for free. Please remove all ornaments and lights; do not put trees and greenery in a bag. After the dates above, place holiday trees and greenery where your trash is collected. They will be picked up with your trash as space in our trucks permits. Unfortunately, trees and greenery collected after the dates above will not be composted.
    As a reminder, apartment and condominium buildings with four or more units are required to provide their tenants with solid waste collections (this includes leaves and holiday trees/greenery).
    Please do not put the trees in plastic or cloth bags. Trees collected through the dates above (and those brought to the Fort Totten and Benning Road transfer stations) will be chipped and composted. Any trees not collected by the dates above will be picked up as space in the trash trucks allow over the following weeks.
    . Click here for locations, updated information and more details.

  • You can also drop off Christmas trees through the end of February at

    • Benning Road Transfer Station: 3200 Benning Road NE
    • Fort Totten Transfer Station: 4900 John F. McCormack Drive NE
    • Bryant Street Sweep Shop: 201 Bryant Street NW
    • South Capitol Street Graffiti Shop: 2700 South Capitol Street SE

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