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Christmas tree recycling

Scroll down this page for local Minnesota 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!

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

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

  • Anoka County - Click here for locations, updated information and more details. The Bunker Hills Compost Site is open for two weekends after New Year's Day to accept Christmas trees and boughs, as well as other yard waste. Dates vary. A fee is charged. Trees must be free of tinsel, garland, ornaments and stands. Hours of operation: Saturday from 9 am to 4:30 pm
    Sunday from Noon - 4:30 pm Most garbage haulers offer Christmas tree collection as part of their service. Some municipalities collect and chip Christmas trees for mulch. Contact your hauler or municipality to obtain specific pickup information for your area.
  • Carver County, MN - DO NOT throw your Real Christmas Tree in the trash! Real Christmas Trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes. Here are some recycling options and tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays. Christmas-tree Ornaments, stands, lights, artificial trees and wire wreaths are NOT ACCEPTED. In all cases; DO NOT include ornaments, stands, lights, artificial trees and wire wreaths. Please remove trees from plastic bags. Trees will be chipped and used for compost or mulch. Wreaths will not be accepted during the collections. Trees will be chipped and used for compost or mulch. Every community is different, but in general, you have these NO CHARGE options:
    Curbside Collection by your private trash hauler:

    Contact your private refuse hauler to ask if they collect real Christmas trees for recycling. Some haulers offer this service for free to their customers and some charge a nominal fee ranging from $5.00 to $8.00. Residents with seasonal curbside yard waste collection typically receive this service at no additional charge.

    Take your Tree to a Drop-off Site
    At a Private Compost Site
    The following compost sites are owned and operated by private entities and are open to residents and businesses year round. Please call ahead to inquire about disposal fees, hours of operation and delivery instructions.

    Boy Scout Curbside Collection

    Chanhassen, Chaska, and Victoria. Boy Scout Troop 337 collects Christmas trees door-to-door and delivers them to a compost site for a small fee. This event helps raise funds for the troop's annual operating expenses and camp scholarships along with providing a service to residents in disposing of their trees properly and conveniently. To take advantage of this service, you must sign up for it by the deadline.
    Email Troop 337 at [email protected] . with your name, address, and phone number, and they will provide you with any further details. Please Note: The Boy Scout collection is not a Carver County program. For more information on the program, please contact Boy Scout Troop 337.

    Cities with Christmas Tree Recycling Programs
    The following cities offer no charge Christmas tree recycling options to their residents.
    Cologne - Residents can drop off trees at the City of Cologne Public Works garage, 304 Louis St W (roll-off box south of the Cologne City Public Works garage) through Friday, January 15, 2021.
    Mayer and New Germany - Residents can drop off trees at the City of Mayer yard waste site. Visit the Rural Recycling Drop-Off Site page for hours and location.
    Norwood Young America - Residents can drop off trees at the City of NYA yard waste site located at 640 Tacoma Blvd.

    Holiday lights
    can be dropped off at NO CHARGE at the Environmental Center.

  • Douglas County - Christmas/Holiday Tree Recycling Drop Off. Until January 28th. The trees will be reused at an Alexandria area church and then recycled by being ground up for local park trails. Click here for Drop Off Locations and Dates . Remove all tinsel, plastic bags, metal and wire from trees. No artificial trees accepted. Trees will be chipped up for use in County Parks.
    Recycling lights and electronics at the Douglas Solid Waste Recycle Center (accepted year-round), ALP Utilities, Runestone Electric Assoc. or Ace Hardware, Glenwood & Alexandria
  • Hennepin County - Put in yard and tree waste; Live Christmas trees should be disposed of as yard waste. Check with your hauler about curbside pickup or take to the nearest location that accepts yard and tree waste. No wreaths or other decorations with metal will be accepted. All tree stands, ornaments and plastic bags must be removed from the trees. Flocked trees are acceptable. Loads containing unacceptable material will be rejected. There are also drop off sites . If you have any questions please call Barry Melquist at 612-348-4491. Christmas tree disposal for residents Many waste haulers will offer pick-up service for Christmas trees during the first few weeks of January - contact your waste hauler or city recycling coordinator for more information. You can also take your tree to a yard waste site that is open year round. Artificial Christmas trees in good shape may be sold, given away or donated to Arc Value Village or Goodwill (accepted from October 1 - December 24). Artificial Christmas trees may be put in the garbage.
  • Minneapolis, MN - After the holidays, there are several ways to dispose of your lights & tree.
    Dispose of Christmas Tree: Place alongside garbage cart before 6:00 am on your regular garbage pickup day. If tree is 6 feet or taller, you must cut in half.
    To recycle Lights see Recycling Association of Minnesota's Recycle Your HolidaysTM program . Hennepin County has year round drop-off facilities in Brooklyn Park and Bloomington for holiday lights There are several ways to dispose of your lights & tree. The South Transfer Station will NOT accept this item.
    Ways to Recycle a Tree Yourself:
    Place the tree in the yard or garden for use by birds and other wildlife. The branches provide shelter from strong winds and cold. Food can be supplied by hanging fruit slices, seed cakes, or suet bags on its branches. You can also smear peanut butter and seeds in pine cones and hang them in the tree. Prune off the branches and place the boughs over perennials as winter mulch. Chip the tree and use as mulch around trees, shrubs, or in flower beds.
    Recycle Lights:
    Recycling Association of Minnesota's Recycle Your HolidaysTM program: www.RecycleMinnesota.org .
    Hennepin County has year round drop-off facilities in Brooklyn Park and Bloomington for holiday lights Hennepin County's Green Disposal Guide.
    Search the web under "Recycling Christmas Tree" for additional suggestions.
  • Pope County - Christmas/Holiday Tree Recycling Drop Off. Until January 28th. The trees will be reused at an Alexandria area church and then recycled by being ground up for local park trails. Click here for Drop Off Locations and Dates . Remove all tinsel, plastic bags, metal and wire from trees. No artificial trees accepted. Trees will be chipped up for use in County Parks.
    Recvyclihght lights and eletronics at the Douglas Solid Waste Recycle Center (accepted year-round), ALP Utilities, Runestone Electric Assoc. or Ace Hardware, Glenwood & Alexandria
  • St. Paul and Ramsey County residents, you can take your tree to a Ramsey County recycling center, where the tree will be turned into mulch and compost to be used on gardens and yards throughout the year. The facilities are open for drop-off on January 9th and 10th. For free drop-off, proof of Ramsey County residency must be provided. (A driver's license will do!)
  • St. Cloud, MN - The Public Works Department has designated Monday, January 11 and Monday, January 25, 2021 for its annual collection of Christmas trees. Residents who wish to use this option are asked to do the following:
    Attach a clear city yard waste bag (green bag is also acceptable) to the tree and make it clearly visible to collection crews. The bag can be tied to a branch or around the lower trunk
    Place the tree in the normal refuse collection area by 6 am on pick up date
    Remove all decorations or other attachments. Trees containing metal or cement stands will not be picked up
    Wreaths are not acceptable for recycling because they contain wire
    Questions can be directed to the Public Works Department at (320) 650-2900.
  • Washington County, MN - residents can drop off their trees for a small fee at a number of locations for a small fee, ranging from $1 to $6. Open dates depend on the drop-off site, so be sure to find one that suits you best. At Forest Lake Public Works, for example drop-off is free and residents can recycle their trees through January 28, 2020 Here is a list of the Washington County, MN Christmas Tree drop-off locations.
    dropping them off at one of the available yard waste drop-off sites in Washington County. Tree stands, plastic bags, tinsel, wire, lights, and all other decorations must be removed before drop-off.
    Private waste haulers, cities, or townships may also accept Christmas trees. Residents should contact sites directly for more information.
    Sites accepting trees include:
    Cottage Grove: Rumpca Companies, Inc., 9600 Glendenning Road - open to all residents, 9 am to 3 pm. Dec. 29 and Saturday, January 4, 2020 Cost is $2 per tree, which will be waived if a canned good is brought for donation to the local food shelf. For more information, call Rumpca Companies at 651-459-1556.
    Forest Lake: City of Forest Lake Public Works, 843 Fourth St. S.W. - open to Forest Lake residents only, 24-hour drop-off through January 31. No charge. For more information, call Forest Lake Public Works at 651-464-3220.
    Oakdale: City of Oakdale Public Works, 1900 Hadley Ave. N. - open to Oakdale residents only, 7:30 am to 3 pm. Monday through Friday December 26th through January 31. Cost is $3 per tree. For more information, call Oakdale Public Works at 651-730-2740.
    Woodbury: Composting Concepts, 4600 Cottage Grove Drive - open to all residents, 9 am to 3 pm. Saturday, January 4, 2020 and January 11, 2020. Cost is $10 per tree, $7 per wreath. For more information, call Composting Concepts at 651-769-0531.

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