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How to recycle your Christmas tree in NYC - Metro US

How to recycle your Christmas tree in NYC

christmas tree recycling | mulchfest | nyc sanitation
It's already time to leave that Christmas tree on the curb. 
Getty Images

With the holidays already behind us, it’s time to take down your tree, and luckily New York City makes Christmas tree recycling a breeze.

The New York City Department of Sanitation begins its annual curbside collection of Christmas trees this week, and you can leave your tree right on the curb for the city to take until Saturday, Jan. 12

For the Christmas tree recycling program, or “tree-cycling” as the department calls it, you will need to remove all stands, tinsel, lights and ornaments, according to NYC Sanitation.

The clean, non-bagged naked Christmas trees will then be chipped, mixed with leaves and recycled into compost.

“While Christmas trees are in our homes for only a short period of time, recycling can give them a longer life,” NYC Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said in a statement. “After collection, the trees are turned into compost to give life to plants in our city’s parks and community gardens. We thank all residents for taking part in the program.”

If you’re looking to get rid of an artificial Christmas tree, NYC sanitation suggests selling or donating plastic and metal trees through donateNYC, or putting them with your recycling on regular recycling days.

The Christmas tree recycling program doesn’t follow a schedule, so you can put your real trees at the curb any day of the week.

After Christmas 2017, NYC Sanitation collected more than 200,000 Christmas trees as part of its curbside pickup program.

Christmas tree recycling at Mulchfest 2019

New Yorkers can also get rid of their holiday trees at Mulchfest 2019. From Jan. 4 to 13, New Yorkers can bring their trees to 68 different drop-off sites like parks and Greenthumb gardens.

Christmas trees brought to Mulchfest will need to be free of all lights, ornaments, decorations and netting, as well.

christmas tree recycling | mulchfest 2019
A past MulchFest. ALLISON MEIER/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

On Jan. 12 and 13, the last weekend of Mulchfest 2019, you’ll have the chance to bring home some mulch if you swing by one of the 31 chipping sites across the city.

“We encourage New Yorkers to bid their tree ‘fir-well’ at Mulchfest, making it a part of their Holiday tradition,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver in a statement. “By making greening a family activity, we all can help reduce waste, and protect and nourish other trees and plants across the city year-round.”

More than 25,000 Christmas trees were recycled at last year’s Mulchfest. Continue the Christmas tree recycling tradition by finding a Mulchfest drop-off site at nycgovparks.org/highlights/festivals/mulchfest.

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