Christmas Tree Disposal: Here’s How to Get Rid of Your Tree

While Christmas trees set the scene for a magical holiday, once January rolls in, they transform from must-have decor to clutter.

If you’ve never had a live tree or your artificial tree is on its last leg, you might wonder what’s the best way to dispose of a Christmas tree. Almost all municipalities and trash services offer Christmas tree disposal, and getting rid of your tree is as simple as leaving it on the curb.

Live Christmas Tree Disposal: What to Do

Live Christmas Tree Disposal: What to Do

If you live in an urban area, check your local municipalities’ websites for Christmas tree recycling. These collection days are often during the first week of January. You can find information by searching “Christmas tree disposal near me.”

If you don’t live in an urban area, drop off your Christmas tree at the nearest city’s Christmas tree recycling collection center. If that’s not possible, check the website of your trash pickup service. Most trash pickup services will take your Christmas tree as bulk waste at no extra charge – just put it out with your trash.

Before placing your Christmas tree on the curb for pickup, follow these steps:

  • Remove all decorations, lights, and tinsel from the tree
  • Check your trash services height requirement – if your tree is more than six feet, you may need to cut it in half and bundle it for pickup.

Ideas for Recycling a Live Christmas Tree Yourself

If you’d prefer to recycle your Christmas tree yourself, you have a few options:

  • Use the lumber for crafts – Create plate chargers, stools, and other woodworking items from the lumber in your Christmas tree.
  • Turn the tree into mulch – If you have a wood chipper, turn the tree and branches into mulch for your garden.
  • Sink the tree into your pond – Trees provide wonderful hiding places for fish, helping them to create habitats.
  • Put it in your backyard or the woods – A fallen tree provides shelter for wildlife. If you have a large backyard or a wooded area, place the tree there.

Artificial Christmas Tree Disposal

If your artificial Christmas tree has seen better days, you may wonder how to recycle it. The answer is not so straightforward. Most artificial Christmas trees contain PVC branches and pine leaves, making them non-recyclable.

If your tree isn’t in good enough shape to donate, you can dispose of the branches in your regular trash and recycle the metal pole and base. If you want to dispose of the whole tree, set it out with your regular trash on collection day.

If your artificial tree is in good shape, donate it. Consider listing it on Facebook marketplace, taking it to a thrift store, or sending it to a worthy cause like The Christmas Project. If you decide to donate your tree to Goodwill or Salvation Army, call ahead first. Many thrift stores only accept Christmas decor in the months leading up to Christmas and have limited space.