Christmas tree recycling

Scroll down this page for local North 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 often made available, free to city or county residents.

Recycling other items:

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!

North Carolina: Where and How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays January 2024

  • Asheville, NC - Asheville residents can place trees at the curb for regular brush collection. Christmas trees will be collected by the City of Asheville according to the routine brush collection schedule. Residents are asked to remove lights, tinsel, ornaments and stands prior to placing the trees to the curb for collection.. Christmas trees can be dropped off for recycling at the following locations:
    Buncombe County Landfill (85 Panther Branch Road ) or
    a Private Yard Waste Facility.
    For general Sanitation questions: [email protected] or call Office: (828) 259-5857. Residents wishing to dispose of artificial Christmas trees must call 828-251-1122 to request collection.
  • Buncombe County, NC - Christmas trees can be dropped off for recycling at the following locations:
    Buncombe County Landfill (85 Panther Branch Road )
    In the city, you can put leaves, pine needles, pine cones and other small yard waste in open bags (preferably 2-ply paper lawn/leaf bags) or container marked as "brush". Brush needs to be cut into 4 foot length and 6 inch diameter. Natural Christmas trees accepted, remove all stands & decorations. Brush should be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on the Monday of your collection week.
    Sanitation does not collect brush that has been generated as a result of work from a contractor or from land clearing. Please coordinate with your contractor for removal.
  • Cary, NC - The Town collects Christmas trees at no charge through the drop-off location and curbside pick up. The Town of Cary offers citizens two options for disposal of Christmas trees at no charge:
    Curbside Collection. The Town will pick up Christmas trees and vegetative material such as wreaths and garlands as part of regular curbside yard waste collection. To ensure collection, please remove all non-vegetative material (lights, tinsel, wire, ornaments, stands, etc.) and place Christmas trees and other vegetative material with your yard waste at the curb by 7 am on your regular collection day. Please keep trees up on the curb and all yard waste out of the roadway, away from fire hydrants and off sidewalks and water meters. Cary has an app to help you find your collection schedule. Download the Cary Collects app for Android from the Google Play StoreDownload the Cary Collects app for iOS from the Apple App Store

    Drop-off Location at Cary Citizen's Convenience Center, 313 N. Dixon Ave. (Off of West Chatham Street in downtown Cary, west of Harrison Avenue and east of Old Apex Road). Turn off of West Chatham Street onto Dixon Avenue and follow to the end. Convenience center will be on the left. Please leave trees in the designated yard waste area any time of the year during regular operating hours.
    For more information, call the Public Works Department at (919) 469-4090.
  • Chapel, Hill, NC - Christmas trees are collected on the regular yard waste collection schedule. All decorations and tinsel should be removed before placing trees at the curbside. Residents of apartment complexes should place trees in designated areas alongside the dumpsters but not inside them. Phone: 919-969-5100. Email: [email protected].
  • Charlotte, NC - Beginning the first Monday in January, Solid Waste Services will begin collecting natural Christmas trees for Charlotte residents as part of regular yard waste collection. Artificial trees must be scheduled for bulky item collection by calling 311 (704.336.7600) . To ensure your Christmas tree is collected, please remember to: Remove all decorations, Place trees curbside for collection by 6:30 am on your scheduled collection day. Schedule bulky waste collection for artificial trees by calling 311 or online. If you live in a multi-family community (apartment, townhome, condo, etc.) on the City's multi-family contract, please call 311 to schedule collection of your Christmas tree. . Artificial Christmas trees need to be scheduled for bulky waste collection. Call CharMeck 311 or schedule online at Natural Christmas trees can be placed curbside with other yard waste items. Artificial Christmas trees must be scheduled for bulk item collection. Trees, real or artificial, should be free of any decoration. Lights, ornaments and other tree decorations should be reused, donated or bagged and thrown in the garbage.
  • Durham City, NC -
    Free curbside collections for live trees are only available to current yard waste customers and current exempt service customers. A tree collection will not count toward a free brush collection for yard waste customers.
    Curbside live tree collections will take place from the second week in January 10 through early February.
    Current customers should place their tree at the curb on their normal collection day. There is no need to make a service request.
    Waste Disposal and Recycling Center - 2115 E. Club Blvd.
    Live trees will be accepted for free disposal at the City's Waste Disposal and Recycling Center.
    Monday, January 3 through the first Saturday in February.
    7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
    7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday
    City Park Drop-Off Locations
    Live trees may also be dropped off at no charge at the following six park locations. Solid Waste Management crews will be on site each of these Saturdays to assist.
    from the second Saturday in January through the first Saturday in February.
    7 a.m. to 1 p.m..
    C.M. Herndon Park, 511 Scott King Rd.
    Valley Springs Park, 3805 Valley Springs Rd.
    Rock Quarry Park, 701 Stadium Dr.
    Twin Lakes Park, 435 Chandler Rd.
    Southern Boundaries Park, 3400 Third Fork Rd.
    Bethesda Park, 1814 Stage Rd.
    All live trees left at any of the seven free drop-off locations as well as curbside must adhere to the following disposal instructions:
    Trees must be cut in half if taller than six feet.
    Trees must have all decorations and hardware removed including tinsel, lights, garland, ornaments, nails, and stands.
    Trees should not be inside bags.
    person adds a tree to a pile of trees
  • Durham County, North Carolina - residents with a current solid waste decal can bring their trees, beginning Wednesday, December 26, from 7 am until 7 pm to the following locations.
    The sites will close on New Year's Day, and reopen on January 2.:
    Highway 55, Alexander Drive
    Bahama, Quail Roost Road, Ball Road
    Redwood Road., Electra Drive
  • Fayetteville, NC - Grinding of the Greens Christmas Tree Pickup Fayetteville Christmas Tree Pickup Begins on the second Monday in January each year. Trees Will Be Recycled at the Fayetteville Community Garden.
    The Annual Grinding of the Greens Christmas Tree Recycling program, a Fayetteville holiday tradition since 1994, continues on! The annual program is celebrating its 28th year of protecting and enhancing our environment. Grinding of the Greens encourages Fayetteville residents to recycle their live Christmas trees and since its beginning, has kept thousands of pounds of recyclable material out of our landfills. The long-standing partnership between Fayetteville Public Works Commission, Cumberland-Fayetteville Parks & Recreation and Duke Energy Progress (DEP) turns live Christmas trees into mulch for the Fayetteville Community Garden and other local parks.
    The Cumberland-Fayetteville Parks and Recreation will collect the trees from Fayetteville city residents in a special tree pickup beginning Monday January 10, 2022. Pickups are separate from yard waste, trash or recycle pickups and city residents should put their trees out for curbside collection by the morning of January 15. All lights, stands and trimmings should be removed from the tree. Residents who live outside the City or miss the pickup, may drop off trees at the Fayetteville Community Garden, located at the corner of Van Story and Mann Street just off Old Wilmington Road any day before January 15.. Residents who live outside the City or miss the pickup, may drop off trees at the Fayetteville Community Garden, located at the corner of Van Story and Mann Street just off Old Wilmington Road any day before January 19.
  • Greensboro, NC - Christmas trees are collected on your regular trash collection day. Christmas trees are considered yard waste./ Be sure to remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel and tree stands. Place tree at the curb by 7 am. Call 373-CITY for more information. Click here for locations, updated information and more details. Be sure to:
    Place tree at the curb by 7 am
    Remove all lights, ornaments, wire, tinsel, and tree stands
    Trees that are over five feet tall should be cut in half or into manageable segments
    Residents in apartments and condominiums should contact their complex manager or homeowners association regarding tree removal options. Do not place trees in a trash or recycling dumpster. State law requires all yard waste, including Christmas trees, to be disposed of separately from other materials. Trees may also be disposed of at the City's landfill, but normal yard waste disposal fees apply. Guilford County has three drop-off sites for Christmas tree disposal:
    1. Guilford County Prison Farm, 7315 Howerton Rd., Gibsonville. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From Highway 61, take County Farm Road then turn right onto Howerton Road. The drop-off point is one-quarter mile on the right. Call 336-449-4720 for more information..
  • Guilford County, NC - provides free, convenient drop-off sites for live Christmas trees. The sites are open from just before Christmas (in case you celebrated early!) through January 15th. There are a few pointers to remember:
    - Please remove all lights, decorations, bags, stands and covers from trees before dropping them off to be recycled.
    - Wreaths, garland and artificial trees are not accepted. These items are made with wire and staples that make them unsuitable for the chipping equipment.

    Guilford County provides residents free disposal for live Christmas trees at the Guilford County Farm (formerly the Sheriff's Prison Farm), located at
    7315 Howerton Road, Gibsonville. The site is open from December 26th through January 15th. Drop-off hours are Monday through Saturday 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

    Some towns and cities in Guilford County provide residential curbside collection of Christmas trees:
    The City of Greensboro collects trees curbside. Be sure to remove all ornaments, lights, wire, tinsel and tree stands. Trees over 5 feet tall should be cut in half. Call 373-CITY for more information.
    The City of High Point collects trees curbside through January 31st. Call 883-3111 for more information.
    Jamestown residents also have curbside tree collection available. Just place your tree out with your trash on your regular pick-up day. Call the town hall at 454-1138 with questions.
    Gibsonville Christmas trees are collected and chipped curbside as part of the Town of Gibsonville's regular chipping routes. Remove ALL decorations from tree, including any nails from the stand, and place at curb for pickup. Call (336) 449-4144 with questions.
  • Hendersonville, NC - Live Christmas trees and other live greenery are collected with yard waste. Remove tree stands, lights, ornaments, wire, and tinsel, then place your tree curbside with other yard waste. All materials must be stacked in a compact pile, not to exceed 4'x4'x12' per week. Stumps and root balls will not be collected.
    Drop-off Christmas Tree Recycling takes place in the parking lot of Field 6 at Jackson Park on a Saturday in early to mid January; but the trees may be dropped off earlier at the location. Tree mulch will be given away to anyone who wants it. Please remember to bring a bag or tarp because the mulch will have sap present.
    Artificial Christmas trees and decorations are garbage and should NOT be placed along with yard waste. Remove lights, ornaments and the stand and bundle all the pieces together as bulky waste. See BULKY WASTE page 8 of their guide for more
  • Mecklenburg County, NC - Mecklenburg County Solid Waste will recycle your tree for free (through late January), and turn it into useful mulch for sale. If you live within Charlotte city limits, place your tree by the curb on your regular yard waste collection day for pickup. Make sure all decorations have been removed. If you're not sure of your regular yard waste collection day, check out the GeoPortal and enter your address, then click the "Services" tab. If you have an artificial tree you want to dispose of, you can schedule a bulky-item pickup by calling 311.
    Mecklenburg County residents can drop their trees off at one of our full-service recycling centers, or check with your town or waste service provider to see if tree collection is offered. Trees can be dropped off at the following full-service recycling centers:
    - North Mecklenburg Yard Waste Facility, 12300 N. Statesville Road
    - Compost Central Mulch and Composting, 5631 West Blvd.
    - Hickory Grove Yard Waste Facility, 8007 Pence Road​
    - Foxhole Yard Waste Facility, 17131 Lancaster Highway​
  • Onslow County, NC - The Solid Waste Department accepts real Christmas trees (lights and ornaments removed) at the following sites:
    - Folkstone Convenience Center Site at 320 Old Folkstone Rd, Holly Ridge (Sneads Ferry area just down the street from the Food Lion). Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ($1.00 per tree).
    - Onslow County Landfill (Tree and Wood Pallet Recycle Area) $25.00 per ton. Monday-Saturday from 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Onslow County Solid Waste also recycles string lights, plastic containers, aluminum (cans, pie plates, foil), metal and glass containers, all paper and boxes for free. Electronics such as television monitors and microwaves can be recycled for $3. For more information, contact the Onslow County Landfill at 910.989.2107.
  • Pender County, North Carolina - The Town of Topsail Beach will be collecting Christmas trees through the first few weeks of January. Trees can be dropped off at the corner of Davis and Anderson Street. To find out if a beach town near you is collecting trees for dune stabilization, call their public utilities department or check their website (which appears to have disappeared in 2022!).
  • Wake County - residents can drop off Christmas trees for recycling at the following convenience centers. Recycle your Christmas tree to mulch trails at Wake County Parks. Drop off your undecorated holiday trees at designated locations from December 26 until the end of the third week in January (Usually arround the 23rd),. Drop off locations:
    Wake County Convenience Centers - Hours: 7 days a week - 7 am until 7 pm Wake County Parks - Hours: 7 days a week - 8 am until sunset Remember to recycle your holiday waste! The following items can be recycled at any Wake County Convenience Centers :
    • Aluminum, Glass, Paper, Plastic
    • Corrugated Cardboard
    • Chipboard (paper roll tubes, cereal boxes, etc.)
    • Clothing & Shoes
    • Holiday Cards
    • Magazines & Catalogs
    • SBS Board (shirt boxes, etc.)
    • Scrap Metal
    • Wrapping Paper (no foil)
    • ....and more !
    Out with the old, in with the new!The following items can be recycled at any Wake County Multi-Material Recycling Facility :
    • Baby Strollers
    • Books
    • CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes
    • Cell Phones
    • Child Car Seats
    • Clothing & Shoes
    • Computer Equipment
    • Electronics
    • Rigid Plastics
    • Toys

  • Wilmington, NC Christmas Tree Curbside Collection or Drop-off for Recycling - If you are a City of Wilmington solid waste customer, the city will recycle your Christmas tree. Simply make sure all decorations and lights have been removed from the tree and put it curbside with any other vegetative debris on your normal service day for city yard waste crews to recycle. Do not place the tree near any storm drains, and be sure it does not block access to any sidewalks. Remember to have all items curbside by 7:30 am on your normal pickup day for service.
    And city customers who have excess recycling can always place it in a box, bin or paper bag and set it beside the regular recycling bin and it will be picked up. Please break down and flatten cardboard boxes. Foil wrapping paper is NOT recyclable, but all other wrapping paper may be recycled.
    Please call the City Solid Waste Division at 910.341.7875 if you have any questions, or visit the Solid Waste page for more information .
  • Winston-Salem, NC - Recycle your Christmas tree! Single-family homes inside the city limits can place trees by the curb for regular brush pick-up.  All lights, decorations, stands and nails must be removed from trees. Please be aware that it may take several weeks to collect all the trees. Citizens may also take their tree to locations for collection.
    Call CityLink 311 or 336-727-8000 for more information.
    Recycling Centers
    Forsyth County Center Number 2, beside Vienna Volunteer Fire Department at:
    445 Lindsay Street, Kernersville, NC 27284. Phone: 336-723-2784.
    Forsyth County Center Number 2, beside Vienna Volunteer Fire Department at:
    6328 Yadkinville Road, Pfafftown, NC 27040. Phone: 336-723-2784.
    Hanes Mill Road Landfill
    325 Hanes Mill Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27105. Phone: 336-661-4900

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