East Valley Christmas Tree Recycling Guide
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are approximately 25-30 million Christmas trees sold in the United States every year. Although these trees have limited “shelf lives” after they are cut down and sold, they can serve a greater purpose even after they pass their prime.
Tree recycling, or “treecycling,” is a process that turns old trees into other useful materials, mainly nutrient-rich mulch and composting products. Recycled Christmas trees may also be used to help prevent soil erosion or create new habitats for wild or rescued animals. Additionally, tree recycling also saves landfill space for items that cannot be recycled or reclaimed.
East Valley Christmas Tree Drop-Off Sites
One way to recycle your Christmas tree is to drop it off at one of the many collection sites throughout the East Valley. As these drop-off sites change each year, it is best to look up Christmas tree recycling drop-off sites in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, or wherever you live to find nearby sites and drop-off hours. If you have questions or cannot find information on city-run Christmas tree drop-off sites, contact your city’s solid waste services:
- Mesa Solid Waste Services – (480) 644-2221; Monday – Thursday, 7 am – 6 pm
- Chandler Solid Waste Services – (480) 782-3510; Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm
- Gilbert Solid Waste Services – (480) 503-6400; Monday – Thursday, 7 am – 6 pm
- Tempe Solid Waste Services – (480) 350-4311; Monday – Friday, 7 am – 5 pm
- Phoenix Solid Waste Services – (602) 262-6251; Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm
Green Waste Christmas Tree Recycling
If you have a green yard waste barrel, you may place your Christmas tree inside (as long as the tree fits completely inside the container with the lid properly closed). Accepted, unbagged small tree branches and prunings, including those from a real Christmas tree, must be cut into two-foot sections and not be larger than one foot in diameter.
Christmas Tree Recycling Tips
All real Christmas trees can be recycled, but there are a few things to keep in mind before dropping yours off at a collection site or hauling it out to the curb for pickup.
- Remove all ornaments, string lights, tinsel, and other decorative items from the tree before sending in for recycling. These materials can damage wood chippers and cost your community time and money. Once your tree is collected for recycling, there is virtually no way to recover any Christmas decorations that you forgot about, so double-check the tree to make sure you didn’t forget any meaningful ornaments.
- Although not necessary, cut up your Christmas tree will make it easier to collect. If you have a chainsaw or heavy-duty clippers and feel comfortable doing so, cut your tree into two- or three-foot sections. This step is not absolutely necessary, as all East Valley Christmas tree recycling programs will accept intact, full-size trees; but if you have the means and the time, cutting up your Christmas tree before recycling can make it easier for your city to collect and dispose of your tree.
- Contact your local tree recycling program if your Christmas tree is “flocked.” Flocking is the process of adding white glue, white glitter, spray paint, or other artificial materials to make a tree appear covered in snow. Some of these artificial materials may not be recyclable, and certain facilities may not be able to remove flocking from the tree. If you bought a flocked tree or applied your own flocking, contact your local tree recycling program to ask if they will accept Christmas trees with artificial snow.
Can You Recycle Artificial Christmas Trees?
Artificial trees cannot be recycled, as they contain materials that some recycling systems can’t process. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the garbage can is the only destination for an artificial tree that is no longer wanted. There are plenty of ways to give new life to artificial Christmas trees, such as donating to a local church or charity that may sell them and put the money back into the community. There may be other local organizations or businesses that accept lightly used artificial Christmas trees for their own holiday decorating.
Check with local thrift stores, hospitals, libraries, and schools in your area to see if any of these places would like to accept the gift of your used artificial Christmas tree.
Jose Knows All Trees, Not Just Christmas Trees
Getting rid of a Christmas tree is easy, but what about that large tree in your front yard or that stump you can’t stand to look at anymore? For bigger tree and stump removal projects in the East Valley, contact Jose Knows Trees. We provide tree removal and stump grinding services throughout the Phoenix East Valley, including Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Queen Creek, and the surrounding areas. We are licensed, bonded, insured, and family-owned. Contact Jose today for a free estimate on tree removal, stump grinding, or any of our other residential and commercial tree services.