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Christmas tree recycling

Scroll down this page for local New Mexico 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!

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

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

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Residential customers can drop off Christmas trees and holiday lights for FREE recycling! Trees and lights may be dropped off between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday, December 28 through Sunday, January 10, 2021.:
    Trees may be dropped off between 8 am and 5 pm, Please remove all bags, tree stands, decorations and lights from trees before dropping off to be mulched. Limit 5 trees per resident, no commercial customers.
    Trees may be dropped off  at the following locations:
    - Montessa Park Convenience Center, 3512 Los Picaros SE, (505) 873-6607
    - Eagle Rock Convenience Center, 6301 Eagle Rock NE, (505) 857-8318
    - Ladera Golf Course, Coors and Ladera NW, (505) 836-4449
    No artificial trees will be accepted. PNM Vegetation Management crews and Parks and Recreation staff will grind trees into chips, which can then be used as mulch to provide a better growing environment for plants and landscapes. Residents can pick up the freshly ground wood chips for use in their home landscapes free of charge while supplies last. Limit 5 trees per resident, no commercial customers. By recycling your Christmas tree, you are saving valuable landfill space and giving back to the environment.
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Free Drop-offs, No Collections - Christmas Tree Recycling Options. Residents of Santa Fe have two temporary options for recycling Christmas trees free of charge. There will be no curbside collections of Christmas trees. The City will be accepting Christmas trees for mulching starting on January 4, 2021, through January 29, 2021. Residents in the City of Santa Fe can drop off their unflocked and ornament-free tree at: 
    Franklin Miles Park
    1027 Camino Carlos Rey (at Siringo Road)
    Park hours: 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    For more information call Jessie Esparza at (505) 955-2106.
    The Buckman Road Recycling and Transfer Station (BuRRT) will accept Christmas trees from Santa Fe residents for free until January 17, 2021.
    Trees must be free from all lights, decorations, ornaments, tinsels, wires, stands, and artificial snow. Trees must be tied down and secured properly during transport.
    BuRRT's operating hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., seven days a week. Trees will be recycled into mulch or compost. Mulch is available at BuRRT for free throughout the year for anyone loading it themselves.

    Mulch is available most times for free. Call (505) 424-1850 to confirm availability. For more information, please call 424-1850 or visit the Agency's website at
    The city will be accepting Christmas trees for mulching free of charge starting on December 26 and continuing until January 15, 2020,
    Disposing of a real or artificial Christmas tree:
    Do not place an artificial or real tree into a City recycling cart! You can place an artificial or real tree in your trash cart. Make sure that the cart lid closes. If it sticks out, ESD trucks cannot pick up your cart. If the tree is too big to fit into a City trash cart, call ESD at 955-2200 and arrange for a large item pickup. ESD customer service will schedule a collection and provide the current charge information. Trees placed curbside without being scheduled will not be collected.
    NOTE: Do NOT drop trees off at local nursery locations. They will NOT accept them
    For more information, visit their website or call: Environmental Services at 505-955-2200 or Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency - 505-424-1850

    Christmas Light Recycling in Sante Fe (aka, "holiday lights" recycling).
    Residents should consider donating unwanted lights, decorations and ornaments in good condition to a thrift store, as they do not belong in your curbside recycling cart.
    For more information call Rosalie Cardenas at (505) 424-1850, ext. 150.
    Recycle broken or burned-out holiday lights by mailing them to Christmas Light Source Recycling Program, 1923 6th Ave., Ft. Worth, Texas 76110. The bulbs will be recycled, and proceeds will be used to purchase books for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. You'll also get a coupon to save 10 percent on a future order of replacement bulbs.
    Residents and businesses in the City and County of Santa Fe can recycle their broken or unwanted Christmas lights for FREE. Rather than tossing in your trash, these lights can be stripped for their valuable metals and recycled, keeping them out of our landfill. All types of string lights are accepted, including icicles and LEDs. The bulbs are okay to leave on. You can drop them off for no charge at any of the following locations:
    Buckman Road Recycling & Transfer Station (BuRRT), 2600 Buckman Road, Santa Fe.
    Capital Scrap Metal - will pay $0.80 per pound, 1162 Cooks Lane, Santa Fe.
    City of Santa Fe, Environmental Services Division, 1142 Siler Road, Santa Fe.
    County Transfer Stations - All transfer stations are accepting lights.