Green Tip: How to Dispose of Christmas Trees

Green Tips | December 28, 2017

After the holidays are over, and it is time to take your tree down, don’t simply leave it out for trash. As always, remember to remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel, etc. before removing your tree from your home – the added waste is generally not recyclable and will not be eligible for mulching or proper disposal.

Recycling your tree, or turning it into mulch, is an efficient way to give back to the environment, protecting gardens, soils, and other sensitive areas from the harsh effects of winter weather, pests, and erosion. You can also use your tree to prevent soil erosion if you live on a slope. Mulching, chipping, or shredding the tree branches will provide a host of benefits to gardens, hiking trails, parks, and more. By breaking them down into smaller chunks, the trees are able to biodegrade more easily, recycling their nutrients back into the ground.

Keep an eye out for region or county programs in tree pick-up for recycling/mulching. Most will occur during the early weeks of January. Check with your town for tree pick-ups and recycling centers to bring your trees. We suggest typing “Christmas tree disposal in [your town, ny]” or calling your town’s public works office. In NYC, New York City Parks is holding their annual MulchFest on January 6-7, 2018.

If you find that your Christmas lights or other decorations no longer work, remember not to throw them in the trash! Christmas lights can often be brought to your local recycling center, or to a retailer who sells them. Other holiday recycling guides are available here and here.


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