How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Two options for holiday trees and greenery

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With the holiday season coming to a close over the next several weeks, thousands of DC residents will be looking for an environmentally friendly way to dispose of their holiday trees and greenery. The DC Department of Public Works (DPW) is pleased to provide District residents with two easy options for having their cut holiday trees and greenery recycled (no artificial trees).

“The District is committed to waste reduction year-round, including the holiday season,” said DPW Director Christopher Shorter. “These two options ensure residents can dispose of their holiday trees and greenery in an environmentally friendly and convenient way.”

The first option is for residents to bring their trees and greenery, free of charge, to either of the District’s transfer stations. The Fort Totten Transfer Station is located at 4900 John F. McCormack Drive, NE, and the Benning Road Transfer Station is located at 3200 Benning Road, NE.

The second option, also free of charge, is for residents to put their trees and greenery out where their trash and recycling is collected between January 13 and February 2. These items will be collected on residents’ regularly scheduled recycling days during this period.

In years past, residents could place their trees in the tree box space, adjacent to the curb.  Please note that this is not the case this year, unless that is where residents’ recycling is normally collected.  This collection service is only available to residents who are serviced by DPW. DPW collects trash and recyclables from single-family homes and apartment/condo buildings with three or fewer living units.

Regardless of which option residents choose, all ornaments and lights should be removed from the tree. Residents are also asked not to bag their trees or greenery.

In fiscal year 2017, more than 327.25 tons of holiday trees were collected and composted by DPW in the District. As a reminder, DPW provides DC residents with disposal for up to five 32-gallon bags  of free compost weekdays, 1 pm to 5 pm, and Saturdays 8 am to 3 pm, at the Fort Totten Transfer Station.

This story also appears on the Hill Rag site.