How to recycle/dispose of
Weekly - recycling
County facilities accepting Christmas trees:
Shady Grove Processing Facility & Transfer Station
How to prepare your cut tree
We accept Christmas trees year-round in our curbside yard trim collection. Please put your Christmas tree at the curb by 7 a.m. on your recycling collection day.
Christmas trees are given a new life after being composted or chipped for mulch, so keep the tree in a natural state.
- Remove the stand and all decorations, including lights, ornaments, tinsel, and garland. Be sure there is no metal attached to the tree.
- Remove any plastic bags from your tree.
"Live" Christmas trees with root balls and artificial trees cannot be collected as part of this recycling program.
You can also recycle branches and needles at home by placing them under trees and shrubs as a temporary winter mulch -- or chop them up and add them to your compost pile!
Recycling cut trees at apartments and condominiums
Residents of apartments and condominiums: check with your property manager or representative for specific recycling instructions.
Property managers of apartments and condominiums: if your residents are permitted to have live Christmas trees in their units, make arrangements in advance for special collections. Christmas trees must be recycled per Montgomery County Executive Regulation 15-04AM.
- Contact your solid waste/recycling collector or landscaping contractor to schedule special pick-ups in December and January; confirm with the collector that the trees will be mulched. Or, self-haul the trees to the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station.
- Notify your residents of the special collection schedule so they know when and where to bring their trees, wreaths, and roping. Trees must not be placed in roll-off containers with bulk trash and other debris.
- Keep records, including the number of collections, pounds of material collected (or number of trees collected), and to where the material was taken so you can complete your Annual Recycling and Waste Reduction Report. Your contractor should be able to provide you with this information.
How to dispose of your artificial tree
If you have Montgomery County-provided trash collection service
If you have Montgomery County-provided trash service, please call Montgomery County's Customer Service Center at 3-1-1 (out-of-County: 240-777-0311, TTY: 240-773-3556) to request a bulk trash pickup for your artificial Christmas tree. Bulk trash details: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bulktrash
If you have privately-provided trash service
If you have privately-provided trash service because you or your homeowners' association have direct contract with a company, please check with your collection company for instructions.
If your artificial tree is still in usable condition
If your artificial Christmas tree is still in usable condition, consider offering it to a fellow community member on your local Freecycle Network group.
How to dispose of your wreaths and roping
Wreaths and roping are typically bound together with wire. Wire could damage our shredding equipment. And, pieces of wire would become "contaminants" in mulch.
If you are able to separate the greens from their wire, you may bag or bundle them as yard trim, and then set them out for collection on your recycling day. Otherwise, please dispose of your wreaths and roping as trash.
Use "recycled" Christmas trees as mulch
Collected Christmas trees are shredded, resulting in a very good quality mulch. Therefore, January and February are excellent months in which to stock up — at no additional charge! — at Neighborhood Mulch Preserves.
"How to recycle/dispose of..." Index
This information last updated 12/12/2012.