What to Do with Your Tree After the Holidays

The holidays are over and if you’ve purchased a fresh Christmas tree, you are probably left with an abundance of needles sprinkled about your floor, and a burning desire to get your furniture moved back into place.

Christmas Tree Disposal and Recycling Tips

Getting your tree out of the house as soon as possible may not feel terribly festive, but it increases the chance that your tree will be recycled, versus thrown into the landfill. It also limits the fire risk that comes with having a dead, dry tree in your house.

Christmas trees are considered organic waste, which means they can be composted, mulched or even converted into fuel. But the tree is only organic if it’s stripped down to its original form, which means removing all the lights, ornaments and tinsel.

What to do with your tree after the holidays:

First, check with your local waste management company or your sanitation department city. Tree recycling has caught on and is often provided, without little thought or effort on your part, as a part of your regular trash service.

Natural holiday trees are often collected for recycling on the same day as your garbage, recycling and yard trimmings. You will need to remove tinsel, decorations and the tree stand. Flocked trees will more than likely end up in the landfill – so if you are a fan of the flock, keep that in mind next year. Trees are often requested to be cut into particular sizes (for example into five-foot lengths) and placed in the street.

Be warned that cities often collect trees for recycling during a specific period of time (from the first weekend after Christmas through January, for example). So check with your city for specific guidelines.

Some cities even provide freebies as a part of your tree recycling efforts. For example, according to Earth911, in Denver and New York Christmas trees are mulched, and the remaining material is made available to the public free of charge.

Finally, if you have a natural wood fireplace of have a need for kindling, chop the tree up and put the materials to use, yourself.

Photo Credit: miki