Delawareans who have celebrated their holidays can help the environment by recycling their Christmas trees at one of the many yard waste recycling facilities located throughout the state.
Residents can choose from many sites statewide to drop off their Christmas tree. Some sites accept trees at no cost, while others charge for the service. Before dropping off trees, people should call the site to ask what restrictions are in place and if there is a charge. Residents who pay for curbside collection service should call their waste hauler to see if they offer Christmas tree pickup. Trees may be accepted now, and as late as Jan. 28, but each facility has its own schedule. Commercial haulers or landscapers should call a facility prior to delivering loads of trees.
Whether dropping off a Christmas tree or having it collected, prepare it to be recycled into mulch by stripping off all decorations, lights, flocking (fake snow), tinsel and tree stands. Christmas trees are no longer accepted for recycling at Delaware State Parks.
Christmas tree recycling saves valuable landfill space. Over 173,000 tons of yard waste, which includes grass, leaves, brush, trees and other lawn/landscape materials, was recycled in 2019. Prior to Delaware’s yard waste ban, many of these materials — considered resources — were sent to landfills, taking up valuable space rather than being handled through local markets for mulch and home composting.
Sussex and New Castle trash customers should check with their waste haulers for information about tree pickup. If pickup is unavailable from their haulers, check the list of yard waste drop-off sites at de.gov/yardwaste. Kent County will collect Christmas trees only from Jan. 4 to 8 and 11 to 15 (on customers’ regular trash day) for those in trash districts that have yard waste collection service.
Delawareans also are reminded that Jan. 17, 2021, is the last day to drop materials off at the Polly Drummond Hill Road yard waste site near Newark. It will close for the season on Jan. 8 and reopen for the spring on March 20. More information can be found at de.gov/yardwaste.