The holiday season is coming to a close, so whether you went and cut down your own Christmas tree or bought it at the corner deli, it's time to start thinking about how you are going to get rid of it. You want to make sure your tree goes back into the land, not the landfill. The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has a great program for turning your Christmas tree into mulch that's FREE and easy. Even those of us who don't buy Christmas trees appreciate smelling yours as we walk through our city parks, so please recycle your tree. Another option is to leave your tree curbside for pick up by the New York City Department of Sanitation, but there are certain rules you need to follow for your tree to be recycled. Read on to find out how simple it is to recycle your Christmas tree in New York City.
The New York City Department of Sanitation will provide free curbside Christmas tree pickup from Monday, January 5 to Friday, January 16, 2015. Remove any non-organic objects (lights, tinsel, ornaments, etc.) and don't put it in a plastic bag. If there is anything like that on the tree, it will be treated as trash and won't be chipped and made into compost. The Department of Sanitation collects approximately 140,000 Christmas trees every January. Keeping them out of the landfill is a great thing to do. The DOS also has a wonderful site about reducing waste in your household throughout the year.
The Parks Department also sponsors its annual citywide drop-off site from Saturday, January 3 to Sunday, January 11, 2015. Or, if you prefer to watch your tree get chopped up, visit one of the designated MulchFest chipping locations on Saturday, January 10 or Sunday, January 11, 2015 from 10am to 2pm. This mulch is used to nourish trees and plants on streets and in parks throughout the five boroughs. If you have your own garden, you can ask for a bag of mulch to take home. Again, make sure to remove foreign items from your tree, otherwise it can't be chipped. It may sound obvious, but every year we see trees with decorations (and even reusable stands!) sitting by the curb or in the mulch pile, a total treecycle fail.
If you want to read more about the environmental impact of your Christmas tree, check out our post about A Greener Christmas Tree.
This post originally published in December 2009.