New Yorkers, here’s how to get rid of your Christmas tree


Wondering how to get rid of your Christmas tree or constantly shedding holiday wreath? Here’s a brief guide to some of your options.

How do I get rid of this thing?

The New York City Department of Sanitation will be collecting biodegradable Christmas trees and wreaths from curbs starting Friday, Jan. 6 through Saturday, Jan. 14.

Residents are encouraged to place their trees and wreaths on the curb any day within the designated window. Be advised, though, that the sanitation department says that trees may not be picked up immediately.

What condition does my tree have to be in?

The tree (or wreath) should be free of lights, ornaments, plastic wrapping or tinsel. Stands and metal frames should be removed from trees, as should wires from wreaths.

Can I mulch my tree?

Yes. Mulchfest, a stretch of time during which trees can be dropped off at any of the city’s 70 sites and turned into mulch, kicked off on Dec. 26 and will run through Sunday, Jan. 8.

Home gardeners can also walk away with a bag of mulch for their own backyards if they partake in the city parks department’s chipping weekend, happening this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Lights, ornaments and netting must also be removed from any tree before it is taken to a Mulchfest site. Volunteers can help the city mulch its many trees by joining a stewardship team.

But what if I have a fake tree?

Artificial trees will not be collected under the curbside program. Instead, New Yorkers can donate artificial trees in good condition via donateNYC.

Alternatively, if you have a plastic tree, you can disassemble it and recycle the base and trunk. Just place the faux tree parts curbside with the usual metal, glass, plastic, and cartons. Once again, lights, ornaments and tinsel must be removed before the tree can qualify as collectable among other recyclables.

If these options don’t work for you, you can put the tree out with the rest of your trash on garbage collection day.

Do people actually do this stuff?

Yes! The parks department says that more than 50,000 trees were recycled last year alone.


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