Christmas tree recycling

Scroll down this page for local Vermont 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!

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

  • Addison County Christmas Tree Recycling and Holiday Waste Reduction
    Christmas trees make excellent habitat for birds and other wildlife if left outside after the holidays. If you have enough space on your property, consider leaving your tree out to decay naturally over time. If you know anyone with goats, talk to them-goats love to eat Christmas trees!
    Vergennes & Middlebury Curbside Collection
    Volunteers will collect trees in Vergennes and Middlebury EARLY on the first Saturday in January (right after New Year's Day). Please put trees out the NIGHT BEFORE so you don't miss it! Trees only, please! No wreaths. Remove all ornaments, garland, tinsel, & wire.
    Tree Drop Off
    Any District resident may drop off trees at the District Transfer Station, open Monday to Friday 7AM to 3PM and Saturday 8AM to 1PM. Christmas trees are accepted free of charge until the end of January. Trees only, please! No wreaths. Remove all ornaments, garland, tinsel, & wire.
    After the Holidays are over, you may also turn your tree into Merry Mulch by dropping it off for free until the end of January at the District Transfer Station in Middlebury. Trees will be chipped in the spring and mulch will be available to residents while supplies last. Please remove ALL ornaments, garland, and tinsel as these materials will contaminate the Merry Mulch. NO wreaths please. Please contact the District (388-2333) for collection dates as the holiday season approaches.
  • Burlington, VT - The City of Burlington will be picking up Christmas Trees on the first Monday in January. . Please have trees bare & curbside by 7 am for removal. BURLINGTON RESIDENTS ONLY
    The City of Burlington will provide FREE curbside collection of Christmas trees for Burlington Residents ONLY
  • Chittenden County Disposal options: Christmas trees are accepted at CSWD Drop-Off Centers (except Burlington and Hinesburg), and McNeil Wastewood Yard
    Cost: FREE. Phone: (802) 872-8111. Email: [email protected] .
    Limitations, regulations and other specifications:
    No ornaments, tinsel or lights
    No artificial snow of any kind
    No artificial trees
    No bags or other wrapping around trees
    No tree stands (Boards used as stands must not be pressure-treated, and nails or screws must be smaller than 1/4-inch diameter.)
    Length limit: 6 feet (Some Drop-Off Centers may accept trees up to 8 feet in length, but to ensure easy drop off of any tree longer than 6 feet, we advise customers to cut it into more manageable sections.)
    The trees are chipped and and burned as fuel to generate electricity for Burlington Electric Department. Others go to Lamell Lumber where they are used as fuel to heat their kilns.
  • Essex, VT - Christmas Tree Pickup, Residents of the Town and Village will again have the opportunity to recycle their Christmas trees after the holiday season. Residential Christmas trees will be picked up at the curbside starting at 7:30 AM on the first week in January after New Year's Day, weather permitting by the Village and Town Public Work crews and subcontractors. (Essex & Essex Junction dates are usually on the first Thursday in January at 7:30am. Free. Trees will be picked up by January 6th, weather permitting.))The Chittenden Solid Waste District will make arrangements to have the trees chipped for use as mulch or wood fuel. There will be no charge for this service. If the weather is inclement, requiring the crews to perform snow removal activities, the pick-up will start later. Some guidelines are:
    (1) All tinsel and other decorations must be taken off the tree or crews will not pick it up. Trees with nails or spikes driven into the trunk will not be picked up. The CSWD will only accept clean trees that will not damage their grinder.
    (2) Place the tree at the curbside, but not before Monday the 6th of January. If you place the tree out earlier, and the tree is buried in a snowbank, it will not be picked up.
    (3) Wreaths and other items will not be picked up and recycled because of the mixed product (metal and organics material).
    (4) Be patient regarding the pickup. It generally takes a number of days to collect all the trees.
    (5) Please make every attempt to leave trees at the curbside on Monday morning. With ongoing winter storms and the number of trees to be picked up, crews cannot go back in subsequent weeks to accommodate those who have forgotten to place their trees at the curb in a timely manner.
    (6) The tree pickup is planned to end on Friday, the in early to mid-January (check their website for the date), unless delayed by weather.
    Each year calls are received because the pickup date is either too early or too late for some individuals. If you miss the curbside pickup, or would like to recycle your tree earlier or later, the Chittenden Solid Waste District will accept the trees at their drop-off facility off Rte. 2A during their normal operating hours. There will not be a charge for the drop-off of up to three Christmas Trees from residential customers, but any additional trees may incur a charge. Trees will not be accepted for drop-off at the Highway Garage or the Wastewater Treatment plant.
    Please remember: The alternatives for disposal are curbside pickup by the Town starting on the 6th of January and ending on the 10th of January or direct delivery by the individual to the CSWD drop-off facility. See this page for updated information .
  • Montpelier, VT - Drop off locations (for trees removed of all ornaments, lights, tinsel, stands, etc.):
    Montpelier Stump Dump, City Dump Rd., Montpelier, VT 05602. Drop off anytime in the roped off area at the end of the road.
  • Washington, VT - Aldrich Acres is looking for your old Christmas trees for goat food. Goats love Christmas trees with no decorations, hooks, tinsel or anything on them. We are available to pick them up in the local area or you can drop them off at our farm. PM me for more details good way to get rid of your Christmas tree without having a hassle of trying to figure out where to bring it.
    449 Vermette Lane, Washington, VT 05675. Phone: (802) 272-0593. Email: [email protected].

Statewide Drop off centers:

Natural, unadorned Christmas trees are accepted year-round at:

Holidays may affect our hours of operation. View a list of holiday closures.

Drop-Off Center Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
Essex 9:30 am to 5 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm
Milton 9:30 am to 5 pm _ 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm
Richmond 8 am to 3:30 pm 9:30 am to 5 pm _ 8 am to 3:30 pm
South Burlington 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm 9:30 am to 5 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm
Williston 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm 8 am to 3:30 pm

For Easter egg Hunts, Children's Consignment Sales, Local Farm Markets and other types of Farms, click here.

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