Recycling your Christmas Tree

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Now that the holiday season is coming to a close, plan on giving your Christmas tree back to the earth by recycling it. In order to recycle a Christmas tree make sure to remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, hardware and stand. Christmas trees that have been sprayed with artificial snow are not a good option for recycling. There are many ways to recycle your cut Christmas tree:
  • If you have a chipper, chip small limbs and add to the compost pile or use as mulch.
  • If you don’t have a chipper, cut branches off and place on top of landscaped beds for mulch. In the spring, the needles will have fallen off and the larger twigs can be removed and added to the brush or compost pile.
  • Consider placing your tree in the back of the garden to use as a bird feeder and refuge. Eventually the tree will become brittle and can be taken apart and chipped into mulch.
  • If you have access, consider submerging your tree in a private fishpond. The tree creates “structure” in the pond and becomes a fish feeding refuge.
If none of these options appeal to you, many municipalities have Christmas tree collection programs that shred the tree and use them for mulch. Avoid placing Christmas trees in the garbage with the rest of the trash. Instead, place on the curbside for recycling. Look in your local papers for collection dates and/or drop off locations. The Onslow County Solid Waste Department accepts real Christmas trees (lights and ornaments removed) at the following sites:
  • Folkstone Convenience Center Site at 320 Old Folkstone Rd, Holly Ridge (Sneads Ferry area just down the street from the Food Lion). Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ($1.00 per tree).
  • Swansboro Convenience Center Site at 698 Swansboro Loop Rd, Swansboro. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ($1.00 per tree).
  • Onslow County Landfill (Tree and Wood Pallet Recycle Area) $25.00 per ton. Monday-Saturday from 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Onslow County Solid Waste also recycles string lights, plastic containers, aluminum (cans, pie plates, foil), metal and glass containers, all paper and boxes for free. Electronics such as television monitors and microwaves can be recycled for $3. For more information, contact the Onslow County Landfill at 910.989.2107.

Recycling your Christmas tree will help to improve the soil and environment, provide wonderful smelling mulch, and substantially reduce the amount of waste entering the landfill.