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Montgomery County, Maryland

How to recycle / dispose Christmas trees

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How to recycle your live tree

Live Christmas Tree

From your single-family home or townhome

We accept Christmas trees year-round in our curbside yard trim recycling collection. Place your Christmas tree at the curb by 7 a.m. on your recycling collection day.

Christmas trees are given a new life after being composted or chipped, so keep the tree in a natural state.

  • Remove the stand and all decorations, including lights, ornaments, tinsel, and garland. Also be sure there is no metal attached to the tree.
  • Remove any plastic bags from your tree.

"Live" Christmas trees with root balls and artificial trees cannot be collected as yard trim.

You can also recycle branches and pine needles at home by placing them under trees and shrubs-- or chop them up and add them to your compost pile!

From your apartment or condominium or business

Residents of apartments and condominiums: check with your property manager or representative for specific recycling instructions.

Employees of businesses: check with your business owner or property manager for specific recycling instructions.

Property managers/owners of apartments and condominiums and businesses: if residents or employees are permitted to have live Christmas trees in their units or workplace, make arrangements in advance for special recycling collection service. Christmas trees must be recycled per Montgomery County Executive Regulation 1-15.

  • Contact your solid waste/recycling collector or landscaping contractor to schedule special pick-ups in December and January and confirm that they recycle Christmas trees. Or, self-haul the trees to the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station.
  • Notify your residents or employees of the special collection schedule so they know when and where to bring their trees, wreaths, and roping. Trees must not be placed in roll-off containers with bulk trash and other debris.
  • Keep records, including the number of collections, pounds of material collected (or number of trees collected), and the recycling facility to where the material was taken so you can complete your Annual Recycling and Waste Reduction Report. Your contractor should be able to provide you with this information.

How to dispose of your artificial tree

If you have Montgomery County-provided trash collection service

If you have Montgomery County-provided trash service, request a bulk trash pickup for your artificial Christmas tree.

If you have privately-provided trash service

If you have privately-provided trash service because you or your homeowners' association contract directly with a company, check with your collection company for instructions.

If your artificial tree is still in usable condition

If your artificial Christmas tree is still in usable condition, consider offering it for reuse on your neighborhood email list, Craigslist, your local Freecycle group, or similar places.

How to dispose of your wreaths and roping

Wreaths and roping are typically bound together with wire. Wire could damage our shredding equipment. Pieces of wire are actually "contaminants".

If you separate the greens from all wire, you can then bag or bundle them as yard trim, and set them out for collection on your recycling day. If you cannot separate the greens from the wire, you must dispose of these wreaths and roping as trash.

Locations accepted

  • Transfer Station
  • Curbside Collection

Material type

  • Trash
  • Yard trim