Montgomery County Offers Green Christmas Tree Disposal Solutions

After the holiday season, the county’s Department of Environmental Protection will collect live-cut trees for composting or chipping, keeping them in their natural state.

Trees can be set out for collection on the next scheduled recycling collection day.

Residents living in single-family homes and townhomes that receive weekly curbside recycling collection service from the county can dispose of live-cut Christmas trees throughout the year. The trees or wreaths should be placed curbside by 7 a.m. on the scheduled recycling day, free from lights, decorations, and plastic. Additionally, wreaths, roping, and other decorations made with live branches and needles are accepted for recycling but need to be separated from wire and metal. It’s important to note that live trees with root balls or intact roots cannot be collected as yard trim.

Apartment and condo residents should consult their property manager or representative for specific recycling guidelines.

“Proper disposal of Christmas trees is a simple yet impactful way for our community to take advantage of our County’s environmental practices and to start the new year by thinking green,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a press release. “Our County is working hard to recycle more and finding new ways to reduce our waste. We can recycle live trees and wreaths into products like mulch that continue to benefit nature. I encourage everyone discarding live trees and wreaths to recycle them.”

The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station shreds and chips collected trees into mulch. Residents can bring their trees for recycling to the station at 16105 Frederick Rd. in Derwood.

Drop off string lights at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station’s electronic recycling drop-off area. For a list of retailers that accept string lights, visit the Department of Environmental Protection website.

Recycle branches and needles at home by placing them under trees and shrubs as a temporary winter mulch. Alternatively, chop them up and add them to a compost pile.

If you have an artificial tree in usable condition that you no longer want, consider offering it for reuse on a neighborhood list serve, local Freecycle group, or similar network; artificial trees cannot be recycled.

Residents who have trash service provided by the county can arrange for a bulk trash pick-up online or by calling 311 to get rid of an artificial tree. Those with private trash service should contact their collection company for guidance.

For more information about Christmas tree recycling collection, go to the Department of Environmental Protection website.

Photo: “File:Christmas tree recycling.jpg” by Ruff tuff cream puff is marked with CC0 1.0.

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