Recycling Holiday Trees

Recycling Holiday Trees

Colleen Quinn
Jan 7, 2009

Now that the holidays are over, the decorations are starting to come down and many of you may be wondering how to deal with your holiday tree. We've begun to notice trees appearing in odd locations in our neighborhood, and thought perhaps we ought to share some information about recycling your tree in the DC area...

Washington DC: Residents whose trash is collected by the Dept of Public Works may place holiday trees and other greenery in curbside tree boxes through January 11th for collection. Trees not collected by January 17th can be placed with regular trash and will be collected on a space available basis. Residents can also choose to bring their trees to the Fort Totten Transfer Station for free chipping service weekdays 1pm to 5pm and Saturdays 8am to 3pm. Trees collected before January 17th will be added to the free compost mix the city makes available to residents in the spring.

Montgomery County MD: Residents can place trees with their recycling through January 30th. Trees must be on the curb by 7am and cannot be in plastic bags. Trees are composted or chipped for mulch, and "live" trees with root balls cannot be recycled through this program. After January 30th, trees must be cut into smaller pieces in order to be recycled through the regular curbside yard collection.

Prince George's County MD: Residents with yard waste collection service can place trees out on their regularly scheduled collection day through January 15th; trees must be curbside by 6:30am. Residents can also bring trees to the Western Branch Recycling Facility or the Brown Station Road Convenience Center through January 31st. Trees are shredded and cured into mulch.

Arlington County VA: Residents with curbside refuse and recycling collection can place trees out on their regular recycling collection day through January 16th; unbagged trees must be curbside by 6am. After January 16th, holiday trees can be put out with regular trash. Trees collected by January 16th will be ground into mulch.

City of Alexandria VA: Residents who receive city trash service can place their unbagged tree at the curb (not in alleys) by 7am on January 10th or January 17th. Collected trees will be recycled and chipped into mulch for distribution to residents; trees set out after January 17th will not be recycled.

All trees and greenery set out for recycling in any of the above areas must be completely undecorated in order to prevent damage to the chippers and to maintain the integrity of the mulch.

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