How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree
Real Trees can be recycled in a number of ways, including mulch for parks and trails, in lakes and ponds for fish habitat, dune and coastline restoration efforts and as boiler fuel for factories.
Approximately 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in North America each year, according to the U.S. EPA. Luckily, about 93 percent of those trees are recycled through more than 4,000 available recycling programs
Learn more about Tree Recycling on Earth911.com
Removing Your Tree: The best way to avoid a mess removing your tree is to place a plastic tree bag (sold at Tree Towne) underneath the stand when you set the tree up. You can hide it with a tree skirt. Then, when the holidays are done, pull the bag up around the tree, stand and all, and carry it outside. Obviously, you will want to remove the stand before recycling the tree. If some needles do scatter inside, it is better to sweep them up, as needles can clog some vacuum cleaners.
Curbside pick-up for recycling: Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the two weeks following Christmas. There are often requirements for size, removing ornaments, flocking, etc.
Take your tree to a drop off recycling center: Most counties have free drop-off locations throughout the county. Usually, you may take up to two trees to a drop-off location at no charge.
Yard waste: Cut the tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container. Tree recycling/mulching programs: Tree recycling and mulching programs are a fast-growing trend in communities throughout the nation.
Check with your local department of public works for information. They chip and shred the trees, then make the mulch available for use in your garden. Your hauler will notify you of pick-up dates in your area. Be sure to check with your local hauler. Nonprofit pickup: Call for an appointment to have a nonprofit organization in your area pickup your tree. Some Boy Scout troops offer a pickup service for a small donation (often $5).
Read more information on Christmas Tree recycling options and programs from the National Christmas Tree Association.
Making Mulch. Photo courtesy of The National Christmas Tree Association