Here are the options for recycling (or disposing of) your Christmas tree in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
The post-holiday season is a sad sight. Cheery decorations are nowhere to be found, Rudolph blow-ups deflated, and what were once very much alive Christmas trees now line the streets in what looks like an army of dried-up shrubs. Fortunately, there's a way to avoid a holiday tree apocalypse—just recycle it!
Tips on How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree
Hundreds of cities offer recycling options that'll give your old Christmas tree a brand-new life, whether it's on a sand dune to protect a beach or at a wildlife sanctuary.
- Curbside Pickup: Most areas offer tree collection services with regular pickup schedules on the two weeks following Christmas. Before chucking your tree out the door for pickup, be sure to read over your area's curbside collection requirements (i.e. tree size, flocking, etc.).
- Dropoff: If your area doesn't offer curbside pickup, consider dropping your tree off at a recycling center. If you're unable to find a recycling center, check with your local Home Depot or Lowes—they'll take it off your hands for free!
- Nonprofit Pickup: Did you know that both Boy and Girl Scout troops offer Christmas tree pickup? There are also a variety of nonprofits that offer local pickup and dropoff services. Just Google "Christmas tree collection nonprofit" to find a nonprofit Christmas tree collector near you.
- Donate: Your Christmas tree could become mulch if you reach out to a local park, preserve, or another protected area.
Local Options for Christmas Tree Disposal
Looking for something local? Here's a list of Christmas tree recycling options in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
If you live in D.C., you're in luck. The Department of Public Works (DPW) is now offering a brand new tree collection service. Holiday trees (and greenery) will be collected between December 27 and January 31. To make an appointment, call 311. D.C. residents can also bring their trees to one of the following dropoff locations:
- Benning Road Transfer Station | 3200 Benning Road, NE
- South Capitol Street Graffiti Shop | 2700 South Capitol Street, SE
- Bryant Street Sweep Shop | 201 Bryant Street, NW
- Fort Totten Transfer Station | 4900 Bates Road, NE
Note: DPW does not provide collection services for condominium or apartment buildings with four or more units. For more information, please visit dwp.dc.gov.
Prince George's County: Prince George's County offers both pickup and dropoff services for live trees; residents can take advantage of curbside pickup from December 30 to January 27.
- Curbside pickup available during regular yard trim collection day.
- For those who'd rather not see their sad-looking tree outside, both the Brown Station Road Public Container Pad and Recycling Center and the Missouri Ave. Solid Waste Acceptance and Recycling Center offer dropoff services.
Visit princegeorgescountymd.gov for more information.
Montgomery County: Montgomery County offers curbside pickup year-round via the county's curbside yard trim collection service.
- Curbside pickup is available year-round during regular yard trim collection day. Set your Christmas tree on the curb by 7 a.m.
- Please keep the tree in its natural state, as Christmas trees are given a new life after being chipped for mulch or composted.
- Be sure to remove all decorations, including ornaments, lights, tinsel, etc.
- If you live in an apartment building or condominium, please check with your property manager for specific recycling instructions.
Visit montgomerycountymd.gov for more information.
Frederick County: Although Frederick County does not provide curbside collection, many municipalities and homeowners associations do. Frederick County residents are encouraged to dispose of their tree (between December 26 and January 26) at one of the following dropoff sites:
- Reichs Ford Road Yard Waste Recycling Site; 9031 Reichs Ford Road, Frederick, MD 21704
- Ballenger Creek Park; 5420 Ballenger Creek Pike, Frederick, MD 21703
- Kemptown Park; 3456B Kemptown Church Road, Monrovia, MD 21770
- Middletown Park Recycling Center; 7628 Coblentz Road, Middletown, MD 21769
- Point of Rocks Ruritan Club; 1637 Ballenger Creek Pike, Point of Rocks, MD 21777
- Eyler Road Park; 30 Eyler Road, Thurmont, MD 21788
Visit frederickcountymd.gov for more information.
Howard County: Howard County residents can drop ornament-free trees off at one of the following locations between December 26 and January 18:
- Clarksville, Kendall Hardware; 12260 Route 108
- Columbia, Cedar Lane Park; 5081 Cedar Lane
- Elkridge, Rockburn Park; 5400 Landing Road
- Highland, Schooley Mill Park; 12975 Hall Shop Road
- Marriottsville, Alpha Ridge Landfill Wood Waste Area; 350 Marriottsville Road
- Savage, Savage Park; 8400 Fair Street
- Woodbine, Western Regional Park; 14800 Carrs Mill Road
Visit howardcountymd.gov for more information.
Charles County: Charles County residents can drop ornament-free trees off at one of the following locations between December 26 and January 12:
- Breeze Farm Recycling Center; 15950 Cobb Island Road, Cobb Island
- Calvary Gospel Church; Route 228, 11150 Berry Road, Waldorf
- Charles County Courthouse; Talbot Street, La Plata
- Gilbert Run Park Recycling Center; 13140 Charles Street, Charlotte Hall
- Pinefield Park; Pinewood Drive, Waldorf
- Piney Church Yard Waste Facility; Piney Church Road, Waldorf
- Pisgah Recycling Center; 6645 Mason Springs Road, La Plata
- Route 5 Park N’ Ride Mattawoman-Beantown Road, Waldorf
Visit charlescountymd.gov for more information.
Arlington: Arlington County offers curbside pickup year-round via the county's trash collection service.
- Trees collected between December 30 and January 10 will be turned into mulch.
- Following January 10, Christmas trees will be collected on trash day and will be handled as a part of regular year-round waste collection. Trees taller than eight feet will need to be dismantled.
- Residents can also bring Christmas trees to Solid Waste Bureau’s Earth Products Yard in Shirlington.
Visit recycling.arlingtonva.us for more information.
Fairfax County: Fairfax residents are encouraged to drop their trees off at the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex. Note: There will be a $7 fee.
Visit fairfaxcounty.gov for more information.
Loudoun County: Loudoun County residents can drop ornament-free trees off at one of the following locations between December 26 and January 20:
- Leesburg-Loudoun County Landfill Recycling Dropoff Center | 21101 Evergreen Mills Road-Leesburg, 20175
- Purcellville-Franklin Park | 17501 Franklin Park Drive. Purcellville, 20132
- South Riding-Town Hall | 43055 Center Street, South Riding, 20152
- Lovettsville-Game Protective Association | 16 South Berlin Pike, Lovettsville, 20180
- Sterling-Claude Moore Park | 46150 Loudoun Park Lane, Sterling, 20164
Visit loudoun.gov for more information.