a palm tree on a table

Dec. 26 is coming. Here’s how to recycle your Christmas tree

Charles MegginsonCulture, Headlines

a palm tree on a table

Taking down your Christmas tree may not be on your mind just yet — but when the time comes, DNREC’s got your back. 

The agency is encouraging Delawareans to “regift their real Christmas trees to the environment” by recycling them at one of the many yard waste recycling facilities located throughout the state. 

Once donated, trees are processed into mulch which DNREC uses to “conserve and enhance First State soil,” according to a press release from the department.

Christmas tree recycling also saves valuable space in Delaware’s landfills. 

More than 158,000 tons of yard waste, including grass, leaves, brush, trees and other lawn and landscape materials were recycled in 2020. 

Prior to Delaware’s yard waste ban, many of these materials — considered reusable resources — were sent to landfills, taking up space rather than being handled through local markets for mulch and home composting. 

Residents can drop off their Christmas trees from their choice of many sites across Delaware.

Some of the sites accept trees at no cost, while others charge for the service. 

Before you drop off your tree, DNREC advises you to call the site in advance to see what restrictions are in place and if there is a charge. 

Residents who pay for curbside collection service should call their waste hauler to see if they offer Christmas tree pickup. If pickup is unavailable from their haulers, you should check the list of yard waste drop-off sites on the DNREC website at this link.

Trees may be accepted as soon as Dec. 26 and as late as Jan. 28, 2022, but each facility has its own schedule. 

Commercial haulers or landscapers should call a facility prior to delivering loads of trees. 

Christmas trees are no longer accepted for recycling at Delaware State Parks.

Whether dropping off a Christmas tree or having it collected, DNREC asks that you prepare the tree for recycling into mulch by stripping it off all decorations and lights, removing any flocking (fake snow) and detaching tree stands.

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022 is the last day to drop off materials, including Christmas trees, at the Polly Drummond Hill Road yard waste site. 

The site will close at sundown Sunday, Jan. 16 and reopen for spring on Saturday, March 26. 

More information can be found at de.gov/yardwaste.

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