How to Recycle Christmas Trees in Los Angeles

how to recycle your christmas tree Sandra Seitamaa via Unsplash

From calling in the pros, to doing it yourself, here’s how to recycle your Christmas tree this year

Your Christmas tree served proudly. It made your house smell like the mountains, gave your kids something to decorate (and almost topple) and provided the pets with something to chew on. Now that the holiday is over, it’s giving your vacuum cleaner a workout. It’s time to bid it a fond, and green, farewell. Here’s how to dispose of your Christmas tree and recycle it the right way.

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1. Strip the Tree of All Decorations

For any type of recycling, first prep your tree by removing all decorations, the tree stand, and adornments (ornaments, tinsel, lights, wire, nails, etc.), returning it to its original, undecorated state.

2. Research Your Christmas Tree Recycling Days

LA Sanitation & Environment offers curbside collection for Christmas trees. If you can, simply place it (or cut it into pieces and place those) into your green recycling bins. If your Christmas tree is too big, simply place the tree next to your green bin on collection day. 

Good to Know: Flocked trees and artificial trees can’t be recycled. Please place them in the black container to go to the landfill.


3. Have Someone Haul Out & Recycle Your Tree For You

If hauling the Christmas tree out of your home and onto the curb by yourself just doesn’t sound appealing, then check out California Christmas Tree Recycling. Once you’ve made an appointment (simply reserve your 4 hour window online), a green recycler will visit your home, collect your tree (after you’ve removed the ornaments, of course), vacuum up any tree debris (hallelujah!), and take the pieces to be recycled.

Good to Know: A portion of all proceeds goes to TreePeople—a local favorite environmental organization—to plant new trees.

4. Turn Your Christmas Tree into Firewood

How to Turn Your Christmas Tree into Firewood: Since Christmas trees are notoriously flammable, you can cut them up and use them as firewood. While Christmas trees are not recommended for indoor use (they are sticky and sooty), you can still chop up that tree into pieces and use it in an outdoor fireplace or take it to one of the fire pits at Dockweiler State Beach


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