Recycling your Christmas Tree

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Now that the holiday season is coming to a close, you may be wondering what to do with your Christmas tree. 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 live 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.
  • Check with local wildlife shelters to see if they can use the tree to provide habitat for the animals.
  • Help rebuild sand dunes by donating your tree to be placed on the beach. Check with your local municipality to see if they are collecting trees for dune stabilization. The Surfrider Foundation Bogue Banks Chapter collects trees in Emerald Isle and North Topsail Beach has collected trees in the past.
The Onslow County Landfill, as well as two of our convenience sites, accept real Christmas trees. The real Christmas trees are taken as yard waste, and there is a charge of $3 per tree at the convenience sites, and $31 per ton at the landfill, which equals to $0.31 per 20 pounds.
The Onslow County Solid Waste & Landfill is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 415 Meadowview Road in Jacksonville. From 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, the convenience sites are open. However, on December 25 and January 1, the Landfill and Convenience Sites will be closed in observance of holidays approved by Onslow County.
All sites welcome drop-offs of artificial Christmas trees. There is no fee, and the artificial trees are accepted as recyclable metal. The convenience sites are open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 910-989-2107 for the main landfill, 910-353-3980, for Midway Park, or 910-327-2444 for Folkstone.
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 TV’s and Computer Monitors can be recycled for $9. 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.