Christmas Day has come and gone – presents have been opened, traditions celebrated – and now you may wonder, what should I do with the tree? From curbside pickups to nonprofit fundraisers, it’s never been easier to recycle your Christmas tree. And to make this New Years task even more convenient, we’ve compiled a list of treecyclers throughout the metro area. Read on to learn more.
photo: Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr
Preparing Your Tree
While standards vary, it’s important to first remove all lights, tinsel, ornaments, nails, and any other non-organic materials from the tree. This is because most are recycled into wood chips or compost. Flocked trees are more difficult to recycle and not all locations handle them; some groups charge higher fees for them. Some require over-sized trees to be cut in half.
In Portland, one of the easiest – and cheapest – ways to recycle your tree is curbside through your yard debris. Generally, as long as your tree is cut up, and completely placed inside your green compost collector, you’re done! Or, for a $5 fee, trees that are six feet tall or shorter can be placed on the curb on pick-up day. If your tree is taller than six feet, it should be cut in half, and a $5 charge is added to each piece. There’s one caveat – Portland’s yard debris service doesn’t accept flocked trees.
Pro Tip: Don’t live in Portland proper? There are different rules and regulations for tree recycling in cities like Gresham, Beaverton, etc. Visit this page to find the ones for your city. Still have questions? Call and ask Metro at 503-234-3000.
Environmentally Conscious Recycling
Along with accepting most forms of dry waste (including copiers, concrete, mattresses, and most metals) Environmentally Conscious Recycling’s drop off site in NE Portland takes both flocked and green Christmas trees.
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 7 a.m.-5 p.m. (winter)
Cost: $2/green; $25/flocked
12409 NE San Rafael
photo: Summer via Flickr
Sunnyside Environmental School
The first weekend of January, the environmentally-conscious K-8 holds its annual Christmas tree recycling fundraiser, offering both drop off and pickup services on the Eastside. Pickup is by reservation only, which you can make online or via email. All money raised goes to the school’s field trip fund while trees are chipped and used as mulch in the school’s garden.
Hours: Jan. 5-6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $5/tree drop off; $10/tree pickup
3421 SE Salmon St.
Lake Oswego Boy Scout Troop 230
This local Boy Scout troop is eager and ready to help! Simply bring your trees, wreaths, and garlands (along with a suggested donation) to Troop 230’s two-day recycling event. Questions? Contact the troop here.
Dates: Jan. 5-6, call for hours
West End Building/Yakima Headquarters
4101 Kruse Way
Lake Oswego, Or
Tigard Boy Scout Troop 419
If you call the Tigard area home, Boy Scout Troop 419 is there for you with five days of curbside pickup service. First, ensure you’re within their coverage zone on this map. Then simply print out the required flyer, place it in a Ziploc bag with the suggested donation (make checks out to Troop 419), attach it to your tree and leave everything at the end of your driveway by the 9 a.m. on the day of pick-up.
Dates: Dec. 29 & 30, Jan. 5-6 & 12
photo: Joe Strupek via Flickr
Beaverton Boy Scout Troop 618
For drop off, just bring your tree and wreaths (as well as the suggested donation) to St. Andrew Lutheran Church the last weekend of December or the first weekend of January. Curbside pickup is available those days as well, see the website for instructions.
Hours: Dec. 29, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Dec. 30, 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.; Jan. 5, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Jan 6, 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $5/wreaths; $10/trees
St. Andrew Lutheran Church
12405 SW Butner Road
Coho Salmon Habitat with Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited
Support salmon habitats (and Oregon waterways!) this season by donating your tree to this conservation-minded group. Find two drop off locations in the metro area and fees support transportation costs to move them to the river. Only clean trees need apply—no flocking, tinsel, etc.
Dates: Jan. 5 & 12
Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitter
10910 NE Halsey
West Linn Fire Station
6000 Failing St
West Linn, Or