How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree in DC, Md. and Va.

Recycling your trees and decorations is easier than you might think

christmas tree generic

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to think about how to dispose of your holiday decorations.

Dry Christmas trees can quickly become a fire hazard. Dry trees can be a major source of fuel in a fire; the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says a dry tree can burn faster than newspaper.

Many locations in the D.C. area are encouraging residents to recycle their Christmas trees and greenery once the holidays are over. All trees must be bare-- meaning no tinsel, ornaments or lights left behind-- before they can be recycled. 

Here's how you can recycle your tree this season:

In Washington: Holiday trees will be collected and composted through Jan 27, 2017. Trees and greenery collected after Jan. 27 will be collected with the trash as space permits in the truck. Remember to remove all of your ornaments, tinsel and other decorations. Residents can place their trees where they place their trash and recycling for collection. 

In Montgomery County: If you live in a home or townhouse, put your tree at the curb by 7 a.m. on your usual recycling collection day. Residents of apartments or condominiums should check with their property manager or representative for specific recycling instructions. 

In Prince George's County: Christmas trees will be collected along with other yard waste during the weekly curbside collection. 

In Anne Arundel County: Christmas trees will be collected on your regular recycling day to be chipped into mulch. Wrapping paper, tissue paper, greeting cards, seasonal advertisements, gift catalogs, gift boxes, cardboard boxes, soft and hard cover books, newspaper, phone books and magazines can also be recycled.

In Arlington: Christmas trees will be collected during the first two weeks of January in Arlington County. Trees must be placed on the curb no later than 6 a.m. on your regular trash collection day. Trees picked up after Jan. 18 will not be recycled, but can be collected as trash on your regular trash day. 

Residents who do not have curbside recycling can bring their Christmas tree to the Solid Waste Bureau between Jan. 2 and Jan. 13. Call 703-228-6570 to schedule an appointment. 

In Fairfax County: Christmas trees will be collected between Jan. 1 and Jan. 16 for recycling. Lights and other decorations must be removed. 

In Prince William County: Trees can be dropped off at the following locations to be recycled: 

  • The Prince William County Landfill (14811 Dumfries Road in Manassas)
  • The Balls Ford Road Compost Facility (13000 Balls Ford Road in Manassas)
  • Leesylvania State Park (2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive in Woodbridge)
  • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) (5399 Wellington Branch Road in Gainesville)
In Alexandria: Residents who receive curbside service can place their trees outside on their regular trash collection day. Trees collected during this time will be made into mulch and will be available to residents in the spring. 
In Loudoun County: Residents who receive curbside service should contact their homeowners association, town office or private waste collector for Christmas tree collection information.
 Residents can also drop their Christmas tress off at the following locations from Dec. 26, 2016 until Jan. 20, 2017:
  • Loudoun County Landfill Recycling Dropoff Center
    21101 Evergreen Mills Road
    Leesburg, 20175
  • Claude Moore Park
    46150 Loudoun Park Lane
    Sterling, 20164
  • Game Protective Association
    16 South Berlin Pike
    Lovettsville, 20180
  • Town Hall (rear parking lot next to tennis court)
    43055 Center Street
    South Riding, 20152
  • Franklin Park
    17501 Franklin Park Dr.
    Purcellville, 20132


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