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GREEN LIVING BLOG

2021 Christmas Tree Disposal Guide

COMMUNITY CENTERGreen Homes & BusinessesDec 16, 2020Rebekah Eastep

Author: Rebekah Eastep

Is your pine becoming a pain? Is your spruce beyond its use? Is your evergreen not so…well, green? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Like all good things, the natural Christmas tree must come to an end and residents are left with the question of how to dispose of their once festive firs.

If you have a backyard, there may be some waste-free options to consider. Once you remove the ornaments, tinsel, and lights from your Christmas tree, it essentially becomes a regular old tree. You can place the entire tree outside for the overwintering birds and critters to enjoy. You can also cut limbs from the tree to use as protective covering for shrubs and plants in your flowerbeds. If you have a chipper, make mulch! You could also use your Christmas tree as firewood to fuel a New Year’s Eve bonfire. S’mores anyone?

There are other ways to reuse your tree with a little vision and some crafting supplies. A cut up tree trunk can become ornaments, coasters, a wreath, and more. Check out our Pinterest board and get inspired! Each project is a perfect way to pass the time as we all stay safely at home this holiday season and into the near year.

In year’s past, local businesses have offered to accept trees to be placed in the Outer Banks to help alleviate beach erosion. Be on the lookout for announcements on social media or your local news outlet of choice. Never place a Christmas tree on local beaches without express consent from the managing municipality.

For those looking for a quicker, easier disposal option, we’re got you covered, too. Check with the vendor where you purchased the tree. Some locations offer their own take-back programs. We’ve also compiled a comprehensive list of municipal collection options organized by your city or county. Click on your community in the list below and find complete details on how Christmas trees will be collected after the holidays.

Chesapeake | Gloucester | Hampton | Isle of Wight | James City County | Newport NewsNorfolk | Poquoson | Portsmouth | Smithfield | Suffolk | Virginia BeachWilliamsburg | York County

 

Chesapeake

 

 

When: Ongoing

Where: Trees will be picked up at curbside on regular trash collection day.

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights.

 

 

Gloucester

 

 

When: Now through January 31

Where: Residents may place Christmas trees in the brush container at any of the five Gloucester County Convenience Centers.

What to know: Place in mulch container. Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Trees will be mulched for use as cost-saving landfill cover.

 

 

Hampton

 

 

When: Ongoing starting December 26

Where: Trees will be picked up at curbside on regular trash collection day. Residents can also bring naturally grown trees to be recycled at the Yard Waste Transfer Site located at 100 North Park Lane.

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Trees will be mulched or composted at the VPPSA Composting Facility. Mulch and compost are available for purchase by the public at the composting facility.

 

 

Isle of Wight

 

 

When: Ongoing

Where: Natural Christmas trees can be recycled at any of Isle of Wight’s Refuse & Recycling Centers.

What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights.

 

 

James City County

 

 

When:Dec. 28-Jan. 30

Where: Trees can be dropped off at any of the County’s three convenience centers free of charge during normal operating hours. Locations and operating hours listed here.

What to know: Remove all tinsel, ornaments, lights and stands or tree will not be accepted. Trees will be mulched or composted.

 

 

Newport News

 

 

When: Dec. 28-Jan. 30

Where: Curbside (during regular bulk collection week) or drop off Monday through Saturday 8 am to 4 pm (except for city observed holidays) at the Recovery Operations Center located at 520 Atkinson Way.

What to know: Remove all tinsel, ornaments, lights and stands or tree will not be accepted. Trees will be mulched or composted.

 

 

Norfolk

 

 

When: Dec. 28-Jan. 22

Where: Curbside on regularly scheduled trash collection day

What to know: Tree must be free of lights, decorations, tinsel and any artificial elements. Drop off is also available at the Norfolk Waste Management Facility located at 1176 Pineridge Road on Tuesday-Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. Trees will be recycled.

 

 

Poquoson

 

 

When: Dec. 25–Jan. 21

Where: Residents can drop off natural trees at the Municipal Pool Parking Lot (18 Municipal Drive)

What to know: Tree should be free of ALL decorations including stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Trees will be composted.

 

 

Portsmouth

 

 

When: Ongoing

Where: Curbside

What to know: Portsmouth will pick up Christmas trees on your regular scheduled trash days. Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Trees will be used as landfill cover.

 

 

Smithfield

 

 

When: Dec. 28-Jan. 15

Where: Curbside

What to know: You must contact Kathy Bew-Jones at 365-4200 or kjones@smithfieldva.gov and provide your address if you have a Christmas tree to be picked up. Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel, garland and lights. Trees will be composted.

 

 

Suffolk

 

 

When: Dec. 26-Jan. 8

Where: Curbside

What to know: For two weeks after Christmas the collection of a Christmas tree does not count against the 12 free special pickups allowed each year.

 

 

Virginia Beach

 

 

When: Ongoing

Where: Curbside or drop off at the City Landfill and Resource Recovery Center located at 1989 Jake Sears Rd

What to know:  Trees must be free of tinsel, lights, and ornaments. Trees placed curbside will be collected as yard waste on your normal collection days and hauled to the HRRC landfill. Trees dropped off at the City Landfill & Resource Recovery Center will be chipped and used for mulch.

 

 

  Williamsburg

 

 

When: Jan. 4-Jan. 11

Where: Curbside on regularly scheduled trash day.

What to know:  Trees must be free of tinsel, lights, and ornaments. Trees must be placed curbside before 7 am on these dates to ensure collection.

 

 

York County

 

 

When: Jan 4 – Jan 8

Where: Curbside or a designated drop-off site within the community where residents can bring their trees (with HOA or community management approval). The designated site needs to be in a location with access to the large knuckle boom truck used for collections. All York County residents may deliver their Christmas trees to the VPPSA Compost Facility as well.

What to know:  Residents must place their tree at curbside by 7 a.m. on January 4. Trees should be free of all lights, tinsel, ornaments, tree stand and should not be bagged. Trees larger than 6′ should be cut in half. Trees will be composted.

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