How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

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You know the old saying, “What goes up, must come down.” That saying rings true with Christmas trees. I like to get my Christmas tree up as early as possible, and keep it up as long as possible; but, yes, eventually it is time to undecorate the tree and let it go.

And, for those of you that thought your Christmas tree was dead, it still has some life left in it. Yes, you can (and should) recycle your tree.

Here are some options for recycling that tree. First, make sure all lights, tinsel, wire, ornaments, and other non-tree materials are removed. Flocked and artificial trees cannot be recycled and should be placed in the garbage.

Waste Connections will pick up trees from customers with yard debris or organics collection or regular garbage service available in most parts of the county. Trees taller than 5 feet must be cut into smaller sections no longer than 5 feet, regardless of whether they will be collected as yard debris, organics, or garbage.

To recycle trees, Waste Connections customers with yard debris or organics service can place trees smaller than 5 feet in the yard debris or organics cart at no extra charge; place a single tree, cut into sections of 5 feet or less, next to an empty yard debris or organics cart at no extra charge, or place a single tree, cut into sections of 5 feet or less, next to a full yard debris cart for an additional fee.

“Save Christmas trees from the landfill and recycle them to be chipped into mulch,” said Tina Kendall, environmental outreach specialist. “This gives trees a second life in gardens and returns nutrients back into the soil.”

Residents can also recycle Christmas trees of any size for a small fee (typically $5 or less) at the following locations:

Central Transfer and Recycling, 11034 NE 117th Ave., 360.256.8482
City Bark, 2419 NE Andresen Road, 360.253.8461
H&H Wood Recyclers, 8401 NE 117th Ave., 360.892.2805
McFarlane’s Bark, 8806 NE 117th Ave., 360.892.6125
Triangle Resources, 612 SE Union St., Camas, 360.834.7253
West Van Materials Center, 6601 NW Old Lower River Road, 360.737.1727

Customers who do not have yard debris or organics service can put cut trees next to their garbage containers and pay for an extra 32-gallon collection. Trees collected with garbage will be sent to the landfill and won’t be recycled.

For more sustainable ideas on recycling your tree, visit The Arbor Day Foundation: 8 Sustainable Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree.


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