We put all this time and effort into selecting the right tree, setting it up in the perfect spot, and decorating it. But once Christmas has come and gone, then what? Before you kick it to the curb, make sure you know your options (and the rules) for Christmas Tree Recycling. Read on to find great solutions in your neck of the woods, and in some cases, contribute to a few good causes while you’re at it!

christmastree

Image Courtesy: Melissa Bouse

First things first!
It’s probably pretty obvious, but be sure you’ve removed all the decorations, lights, and tinsel from your tree before recycling. Most services so not accept flocked trees—those are the ones sprayed with white, artificial snow. If you are unsure, check with your district at the link provided.

San Francisco

Place clean, unflocked trees next to your bins on your regular service day during the first 2 weeks of January. Be sure to remove all tinsel, decorations, plastic bags, stands, and lights. If your tree measures more than 6 feet tall, please cut it in half.

Dates: Jan 2–Jan 14
For more info: sfenvironment.org

Marin

Marin County
Place clean, unflocked trees next to your bins, not in them, on your regular service day during the month of January. Be sure to remove all tinsel, decorations, plastic bags, stands, and lights. If your tree measures more than 6 feet tall, please cut it in half. Marin Sanitary customers can also drop off up to two Christmas trees for free at the Marin Resource Recovery Center at 565 Jacoby St., San Rafael. Apartment managers should schedule a pickup day for their apartment complex. After Jan. 31, pickup or dropoff is $5.

Dates: Dec. 26–Jan. 31
For more info: marinsanitaryservice.com

Mill Valley
Trees will be picked up on regular yard waste days throughout January. Trees more than 5 feet tall must be cut in half. Put trees next to green cans. Homestead Valley customers without green cans can put their trees on the curb on a yard waste day.

Dates: Dec. 26–Jan. 31
For more info: millvalleyrefuse.com

Novato
Trees will be picked up from Jan. 2 to Jan. 6 on regular collection days. Place next to curb or cut and fit inside yard waste container. Remove all lights, tinsel, ornaments and stands. Flocked trees will not be accepted.

San Marin High School Safe Grad Fundraiser
Recycle your tree as part of this annual school fundraiser. There is a suggested donation of $15 for pickup ($25 for a flocked tree).To schedule an appointment, call 415-858-0321 or email SMTreeRecycle@gmail.com. You can also drop off your tree for a suggested $5 donation ($15 for a flocked tree) at the San Marin High School parking lot on Dec 31 & Jan. 7, 9am-5pm.

xmas_tree

West Marin
Remove all trim and decorations. Trees can be dropped off until Jan. 14 at the Point Reyes Fire Station, Tomales Fire Station or Woodacre Fire Station. Or you can cut the tree to fit completely inside your yard waste cart, with the lid closed, and it will be picked up on a regular service day. Volunteers from several, local non-profits will also come pick up your trees for a suggested donation of between $7-10. Call 707-565-3333 to set up an appointment.

Dates: Dec.26–Jan.14
Fore more info: unicycler.com

East Bay

Berkeley and Albany
Place clean, unflocked trees next to your bins on your regular service day during the first 2 weeks of January. Be sure to remove all tinsel, decorations, plastic bags, stands, and lights. If your tree measures more than 5 feet tall, (6 feet tall in Albany) in  please cut it in half. After Jan. 31, trees will not be collected curbside, unless they are cut up and properly placed in your green waste cart. Call 311 if your tree is missed or if you have any questions.

Dates: Jan 1–Jan 31
For more info: Berkeley, Albany

You can also drop your tree off at the Berkeley Transfer Station at no charge during the month of January. After January, you can cut up your tree to fit in your plant debris cart, or you can bring it to the Transfer Station for the minimum compost fee of $23.

Dublin
Place your holiday tree at the curb by 5:30 a.m. on your regular service day the week after Christmas, Dec. 26-Dec. 30. A truck exclusively for recycling holiday trees will collect the trees. Only clean trees will be taken (no flocking or tinsel). Cut trees down to 4-feet or less in heigh and remove bases or stand. After that, trees will not be collected curbside, unless they are cut up and properly placed in your green waste cart.

Dates: Dec 26–Jan 2

For a $5.00 donation per tree, local Boy Scouts will pickup holiday trees from Dublin residents on Sunday, January 7, 2017. Reservations are required. To make arrangements, please send your email request to xmastreepickup@dublintroop905.org or call (925) 967-2141. Reservations will be taken through January 6, 2017 at 3pm. Only clean trees will be accepted. No flocking or tinsel allowed. Please remove the tree base or stand.

Have a Non-Recyclable Flocked Tree or Trees with Tinsel?
Amador Valley Industries can pick up your non-recyclable holiday tree. Please call 925-479-9545 to arrange for disposal of your flocked or tinseled tree. An additional fee may apply, unless you use one of the three Large Item Collections available to you per year at no cost.

For more information: amadorvalleyindustries.com

Emeryville
Trees are collected curbside on regular collection days during the first two weeks of January. Place your tree at the curb next to your green waste, recycling and trash carts on your regular pickup day. Trees taller than 5 feet must be cut into lengths of 5 feet or smaller. Remove all tinsel, ornaments, nails and tree stands. Green trees only. Flocked trees will not be accepted.

Dates: Jan 1-14
For more info:
 wm.com

Fremont
Remove all decorations, tinsel, lights, nails and tree stands prior to pickup or dropoff. Trees that have any of these items are not compostable. Trees that contain fire retardant or flocking are also not compostable. Curbside trees will be picked up from Jan. 3 to Jan. 13 on your scheduled yard waste collection day. For trees taller than 6 feet, please cut in half. For apartment/condo/town homeowners and managers, see here.

Dates: Dec 26-Jan 9
For more info: fremont.gov

Boy Scouts will also collect Christmas trees on Saturday, Jan. 7. There is a $5 fee for compostable trees and $10 fee for non-compostable trees. All pickup orders must be made by Dec. 29. To arrange pickup, you’ll need to fill out this coupon and mail it in.

Hayward
Place clean, unflocked trees next to your bins on your regular service day during the first 2 weeks of January. Be sure to remove all tinsel, decorations, plastic bags, stands, and lights. If your tree measures more than 5 feet tall, in  please cut it in half. After Jan. 15, trees will not be collected curbside, unless they are cut up and properly placed in your green waste cart. After the two-week period, trees set out at the curb, but not in the green cart, can be picked up for a fee, but the trees will not be recycled.

Dates: Jan 1-14
For more info: user.govoutreach.com

Oakland
Place clean, unflocked trees next to your bins on your regular service day during the first 2 weeks of January. Be sure to remove all tinsel, decorations, plastic bags, stands, and lights. If your tree measures more than 5 feet tall, in  please cut it in half. After Jan. 14, trees will not be collected curbside, unless they are cut up and properly placed in your green waste cart.

Dates: Jan 1-14
For more info: oaklandnet.com

For five-unit residences or larger or after Jan 14, take clean, green holiday trees to the Davis Street Transfer Station (510-638-2303) for recycling at no charge, limit one tree per household. 

Pleasanton
Boy Scout Troop 941 in Pleasanton will hold its annual Christmas Tree Pickup and Recycling Day on Saturday, Jan. 7. All you need to do is fill out a form, and then you’ll be linked to a donation page. Funds raised help pay for things like camping trips, summer camp, and other outings. For more information or to place a reservation online, please visit Boy Scout Troop 941 at Troop941.org.

Date: Jan. 7
For more info: troop941.org

San Leandro
Place your Christmas tree curbside on your regularly scheduled collection day during the first two weeks in January. Remember to remove all tinsel and ornaments, cut your tree down if it is larger than 6 feet and set it out on the curb with your yard trimmings cart for collection. Trees will be recycled into mulch for use in landscaping applications.

Dates: Jan 1-14
For more info: sanleandro.org

Peninsula

San Mateo County
Place trees curbside on normal day of your yard waste pickup during the month of January. Tree length maximum sizes vary depending on the recycling company. Most of the recycling companies do not accept flocked trees. Check here for your pickup requirements. Residents without regular trash pickup can drop off their trees at several locations.

Dates: Dec. 26–Jan. 31
For more info: recycleworks.org

South Bay

Campbell and Los Gatos
West Valley Collection and Recycling will pick up trees on the curb during regular service until Jan. 21. Trees must be less than 5 feet tall and placed at least 1 foot from carts.

Dates: Dec. 26–Jan. 21
For more info: westvalleyrecycles.com

Unincorporated Cupertino
Place clean, unflocked trees next to your bins on your regular service day during the month of January. Be sure to remove all tinsel, decorations, plastic bags, stands, and lights. If your tree measures more than 6 feet tall, please cut it in half. Leave by the curb, or in the green bin if the lid can close.

Dates: Jan.1-31
For more info: recologysouthbay.com

Los Altos
Place clean, unflocked trees next to your bins on your regular service day during the month of January. Be sure to remove all tinsel, decorations, plastic bags, stands, and lights. If your tree measures more than 6 feet tall, please cut it in half. Leave by the curb, or in the green bin if the lid can close. Apartment residents should place all trees in a central location and call to arrange a pickup.

Dates: Dec. 26–Jan. 31
For more info: recologysouthbay.com

San Jose
Recycle your holiday tree on your regular collection day from Dec. 26 throughout the month of January. Trees should then be cut into 5-foot lengths and placed in the street one foot from the curb and 5 feet from your garbage and recycling carts and parked vehicles. Natural and flocked trees accepted. If you live in an apartment, townhouse or condo, ask your property manager if special arrangements have been made for recycling holiday trees on-site.

Dates: Dec. 26–Jan.31
For more info: sanjoseca.gov

What do you do with your tree once the holidays are over? Tell us in the comments below! 

–Erin Feher & Melissa Bouse