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Christmas tree recycling

Scroll down this page for local New York 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 York January 2021 Curbside, Local Recycling and Disposal Options for Trees, Lights and Other Holiday Waste

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

Cities in NY State (scroll down for counties)

  • Albany, NY - Set by the curb as yard waste. Remove decorations, tinsel, lights, etc.
    Do Not place inside of plastic bags.
  • Buffalo, NY - The City will have curbside collection of naturally grown Christmas trees. The collection is normally scheduled (no update yet from them for this year) to be on the first full week in January on residents scheduled garbage day. This will be conducted by the City of Buffalo's Department of Public Works, Parks & Streets as a way to help the environment and reduce costs associated with taking the trees to landfills. To participate in this collection, city residents are asked to place trees out on their curb before a scheduled garbage pickup and to not place them in garbage bags. Although they are scheduled on the same days, trees will be picked up separately from garbage, so city residents should not be concerned if they are left behind after garbage removal. In addition to the one-week tree pick-up, the City is also offering drop-off opportunities at three locations in the city. These locations are as follows:
    Cazenovia Park, Golf course parking lot, South of Seneca Street, at the foot of Wildwood
    Shoshone Park, Parking lot, North off of Hertel, at the foot of Beard
    1120 Seneca Street, Rear parking lot, Between Babcock and Smith
    *Signage will be posted at all locations
    These drop-off sites will be open from 7:30 am to 3 pm, Monday through Saturday, beginning December 27th and ending January 17, 2020. For more information about the program, please contact 311.
    Discarded artificial trees will be treated as garbage and not yard waste.
    Other Buffalo Area Towns:
    Amherst collects discarded trees from curbside during the first 2 weeks of January
    Cheektowaga: collects discarded trees from curbside during the first 2 weeks of January
    Niagara Falls: Trees will be picked up with regular garbage throughout the month of January.
    North Tonawanda: collects discarded trees from curbside during the first 2 weeks of January with regular trash disposal.
    Town of Tonawanda: tree pickup on regular garbage pickup days. Trees are destined for recycling.
    West Seneca: collects discarded trees from curbside during the first 2 weeks of January
    Lancaster: collects discarded trees from curbside during the first 2 weeks of January
  • Bronx, NY - You can put your live Christmas tree curbside for chipping and composting at any time during the Department of Sanitation's special collection period (the first 2 weeks in January). The 2021 Christmas Tree Collection will run Monday, January 4, 2021 through Friday, January 15, 2021. Keep in mind that the schedule may be changed if a weather event impacts NYC. Before placing your tree curbside, remove: Plastic bags, Lights, Ornaments, Tree stands, Other tree-related accessories. Trees that still have items attached can't be composted and will be collected as regular trash. Learn more about Christmas tree collection.
    The Yonkers Organic Yard accepts leaves, branches and Christmas trees stripped of decorations and lights. The yard will not accept grass clippings, tree stumps or items placed in plastic bags.
  • Brookhaven, NY - Christmas Trees can be collected at the curb, separate from garbage, as brush on Sunday nights preceding leaf weeks (do not bag). There is a special week for Christmas trees to allow them to be recycled (they say to please check their calendar ). If over 6 feet must be cut in half or brought to the Town landfill. Make sure to remove any stands, lights, ornaments, bags etc. Artificial trees are NOT accepted.
  • Lewisboro, NY - Christmas trees will be accepted for recycling in January during regular recycling center hours, 9 am - 12 pm on Saturdays. The recycling center is located behind the Town House, 11 Main Street, South Salem. The trees will be chipped by the Highway Department to be recycled as mulch.
  • New Castle and Chappaqua, NY - You can take your Christmas tree (which they, in imbicillic political correctness call a "holiday tree") to the recycling center. Remove all lights and decorations first. The Recycling Center is located at:
    210 Hunts Lane, Chappaqua, NY 10514.
    Recycling Center Office Hours: Wed.- Sat. 7 am to 11:15am & 12 pm to 2:30pm. To report problems or ask questions email: [email protected]
  • Rochester, NY - Residential customers who wish to recycle their natural holiday trees may bring them to one of several holiday tree drop off locations around the city. The trees are chipped and the resulting mulch is returned to the public at no charge through the Materials Give Back Program located on Ferrano Street near Colfax Street.
    Drop-off Locations - Beginning after Christmas and through the end of January, residents may drop their holiday tree for recycling at the these Rochester locations.
  • Rye, NY - Christmas Trees are collected as organic yard waste. Trees must be free of ornamentation and not placed in plastic bags. Trees must be put curbside on organic yard waste days.
  • Salina, NY . (Liverpool, NY) Christmas Trees will be picked up between the dates of January 2nd and January 31st on your regularly scheduled trash pick-up day. Trees left out after this period will be picked up after March 15th when yard waste pick-up resumes.
  • Syracuse, NY - Trees will be picked up at curbside if you have collection. They can also can be dropped off at the mulch pile on Midler Avenue, across from the entrance to Lowe's. Also see these drop off locations . Christmas trees are accepted at OCRRA's Amboy and Jamesville Compost Sites during special hours from January 2, 2020 to January 10, 2020 (Mon. - Fri. from 7:30 am to 4 pm . There are no weekend hours.) There is no cost to drop off a tree. Simply remove all decorations, lights, tinsel, stands, and plastic bags from trees prior to dropping off at either site.
    Jamesville Compost Site, 4370 Route 91, Jamesville, NY 13078. Phone: 315-453-2866. Email: [email protected]
    AMBOY, 6296 Airport Road Camillus, NY 13209. Phone: 315-453-2866. Email: [email protected].
    City of Syracuse, Department of Public Works collects undecorated trees from curbside on these dates:
    Northeast Syracuse on January 4, 2020 and January 5, 2020.
    Southeast Syracuse on January 11 2020 and January 12, 2020.
    Southwest Syracuse on January 18 2020 and January 19, 2020.
    Northwest Syracuse on January 25 2020 and January,26, 2020.
    City residents can also drop off trees at the DPW yard waste site on Canal Street located off of Midler Avenue Monday through Friday between 7 am and 3 pm.
  • Staten Island, NY - The city Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will collect clean Christmas trees curbside from during the first 2 full weeks in January, Monday to Friday, weather-permitting. The trees will be chipped, mixed with leaves and turned into compost for New York Citys parks, institutions and community gardens. Be sure to remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, stands and plastic bags before setting the tree out b the curb.Artificial trees in good condition, can be donated, see donateNYC.  Put artificial trees in poor condition in the garbage on regular collection day(s)
  • Yonkers, NY - Christmas trees should be placed at curbside on regular refuse collection day. Discard decorations and tinsel; Place curbside on scheduled tree
    pick up days (see the Calendar); Drop off at the Yonkers Organic Yard (610 Nepperhan Avenue)As part of the City's Recycling program, this division collects newspapers and commingle recyclables at curbside on Alternate Wednesday's. For more information, call 377-6270

County breakdown

  • Broome County - Christmas trees are recycled into mulch or compost. Be sure to remove all decorations, plastic bags and tinsel before disposal. FREE Drop-off Locations for RESIDENTS ONLY.
    NYSDEC Sub-office, Kirkwood, NY: Will accept trees between 8 am and 4 pm at 1679 Route 11. The trees are chipped and spread along hiking trails in the parks.
    Broome County Landfill, 286 Knapp Rd., Binghamton NY: Will accept trees at the residential drop-off area located at the landfill from December 27 to January 31, 2020. Open Monday through Friday 7 am to 2:45pm and Saturday 7 am to 11:45am. The trees are chipped and composted.
    Grippen Park, Endicott, NY:Will accept trees from December 26 to January 7, 2020. During daylight hours. The trees are chipped.
    Residents with municipal and private curbside service should contact their garbage hauler for more information.
  • Cayuga County - Residents can bring their Christmas trees to the Natural Resource Center at 7413 County House Road in Sennett. The center is open from 8 am to 4 pm. through Friday; and Monday and 8 am to noon Saturday through January 11, 2020; . Residents bringing in their Christmas tree for recycling will be able to pick up on May 4 at the Natural Resource Center a free Douglas fir transplant seedling for planting.
  • Madison County - Trees and wreaths can be dropped off at the county landfill on Buyea Road in Lincoln and transfer stations in Cazenovia, Hamilton and Sullivan for free. Recycling coordinator Sharon Driscoll said the trees will be processed with brush and branches and turned into mulch, which residents can pick up for free in the spring. Some towns and villages also handle trees. Remove all lights and ornaments before dropping them off to any of the following locations:Madison County Transfer Stations (Hamilton, Cazenovia, Sullivan and Buyea Road)
    The Wild Animal Park (Chittenango)
    The Haven at Skanda (Cazenovia)
  • Monroe County - Click the link at left for details; residents can once again recycle their Christmas trees, free of charge, at several locations across Monroe County. Most drop-off locations will accept trees throughout the end of January. Most communities provide curb-side pick up for trees. Contact your town or village for more information. You can also bring your Christmas trees to either the Amboy or Jamesville Compost Site between the first 2 weeks in January (Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 4 pm). Trees must be free of ornaments, tree stands, lights, tinsel, etc. There is no charge to drop off items at either site. In the spring, the trees are ground into mulch that can be used in gardens and landscaping.
  • Onondaga County - See this page for more info for the Syracuse area.
  • Oswego County - Residents can bring their Christmas trees to the Bristol Hill Landfill in Volney, where the trees will be composted. The landfill is open from 7:30 am to 4 pm. Monday through Friday and 8 am to noon Saturday. Some towns and villages also handle trees.
  • Saratoga County - The following towns collect trees from curbside. Decorations must be removed. Real Christmas Trees ONLY, we do not pick up artificial trees. If longer than 7 feet than the trees will need to be cut down. Remove everything from your tree (especially tinsel), these are going to a tree farm so they can not have anything on them
    Town of Ballston mid-January for All Town Residents
    Town of Clifton Parkin mid-January for All Town Residents
    Town of Glenville in mid-January for County Waste Customers Only
    Town of Halfmoon in early-January for County Waste Customers Only
    Town of Schaghticoke in mid-January for All Town Residents
    Town of Wilton early-January for County Waste Customers Only.
  • Tioga County - Most villages provide tree pick-up or drop-off for their residents. Call your village for more information. If you live in a rural area, lay the tree out where the branches can offer shelter for birds and other wildlife.
    UPDATE for 2021:
    In June of 2020, Tioga County went out to bid for this service and the lowest bid came in at more than double the current rate. Due to this recycling is changing;  You are still required to recycle. What is going away is the "RECYCLE" tax levy on your County tax bill and the county contracting for curbside recycling. As of December 31, 2020, the county curbside recycling contract with Taylor Garbage ended. Residents are required to contract with a private hauler for recycling pickup starting January 1, 2021. We are pleased to say there are four options for Tioga County for curbside recycling only as well as curbside trash & recycling collection and they are:
    B&E Disposal - 607-699-3406
    Taylor Garbage - 607-797-5277
    Bert Adams Disposal - 607-648-4863
    RPM Group - 607-223-8714
    Casella (607-358-7771) do not provide curbside recycling only but are an option for curbside trash & recycling collection.
    According to Taylor Garbage, starting January 1st residents will no longer be allowed to drop recycling off at their transfer stations, only trash. Residents were originally told that they would be able to drop recycling off at one of the transfer stations in the County based on information from the NYS Department of Conservation (NYSDEC); however, NYSDEC came back later and said this is not the case.
  • Tompkins County - Christmas Tree and Wreath Recycling. Some municipalities in Tompkins County provide convenient options for recycling trees and wreaths into compost and mulch. Drop off this item for recycling at the Recycling and Solid Waste Center's Yard Waste area.Click here for a map of the Recycling and Solid Waste Center.The Recycling and Solid Waste Center also accepts these items free of charge as yard waste. Get all the details in this guide . Please remove any decorations first.
  • All other areas of the state (just enter your zip code on the page that comes up)

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