Recycle your Christmas tree and keep it out of a landfill. It may be converted to mulch, used by parks, or for animals. All locations require decorations to be completely removed, so that they don’t end up in the mulch or ingested by wildlife.
According to Bill Crabtree of the Town of Wake Forest, North Carolina, residents are being encouraged to make recycling a holiday tradition by recycling their Christmas trees. Town crews are collecting and recycling live Christmas trees from all Wake Forest sanitation customers according to the normal yard waste collection schedule. All Wake Forest residents whose trash and recycling are collected by the Town may participate in the “Treecycling” program. To recycle your Christmas tree, simply remove all decorations, tinsel, nails, stands and bags from the tree and set it behind the curb for collection. Residents are reminded that artificial trees cannot be recycled. By recycling Christmas trees, Wake Forest saves valuable space at the landfill.
The collected trees will be ground into mulch and made available for free to residents upon request. Orders for mulch are currently being accepted. For more information about Christmas tree recycling or to request mulch, contact the Public Works Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.435.9570.
New Hanover County tree recycling — through January 15, 2020
City of Greenville tree pick-up or drop-off — through January 31, 2020
Tree recycling in Chatham County — available until January 10, 2020
Knightdale, NC — through January 31, 2020
Wake County Parks accept holiday trees — through January 26, 2020
Take part in a dune restoration project at Carolina Beach — on January 25, 2020 starting at 11am.
Check out this news article on Fort Macon State Park, where trees are used to rebuild dunes.
Check your area for goat farms, as trees can be a tasty, healthy treat for livestock
Options for Wake County and beyond are covered nicely, including Wendell, Garner, Fayetteville, etc, by this recent CBS17 article.
For other ideas, read this Sierra Club article covers recycling options to keep these trees out of landfills.
Note that Carolina Tiger Rescue, which accepts Christmas trees annually, has received enough (as of December 30, 2019) and cannot accept any more trees at this time.
Ed. Note: Originally published January 2, 2020. Updated January 5.