The gifts were unwrapped, stockings unstuffed, leftover pie was eaten and now you’re stuck wondering what to do with that big ol’ tree taking up space in your living room.
Don’t fret: The end of Christmas can mean a new beginning for your Christmas tree through recycling.
After the holidays are over, many cities offer pick up or drop off services for Christmas tree recycling. Recycled trees are typically chipped and reused within the community, and those chips are sometimes made available to residents for free.
Some Metro Detroit counties and cities aren’t offering such services this year due to the pandemic, but we’ve found a few that still are. Here’s a list of some Christmas tree recycling options available to Metro Detroiters:
Note: In order for a tree to be recycled, it must be bare of any decorations or accessories that are not naturally part of the tree. Only real Christmas trees can be recycled; no artificial trees allowed.
For counties and cities not listed below: Individuals are encouraged to reach out to their specific city or township to determine if recycling options are available.
County residents can drop off their undecorated tree for free through Jan. 10, 2021 at the following locations:
- Ida Township Hall -- 3016 Lewis Avenue
- Monroe Township Hall -- 4925 W. Dunbar Road
- Berlin Township Hall -- 8000 Swan View Drive
- Carr Park -- 9240 Lewis Ave
All decorative elements must be removed in order for the tree to be accepted. Trees will be chipped and reused within the community. Learn more here.
Oakland County’s Parks and Recreation department typically operates a tree recycling program in the month after Christmas, but that program is not being offered this year amid the pandemic.
Individuals are encouraged to reach out to their specific city or township to determine best tree disposal practices in their area.
Residents of Berkley, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak and Troy may be able to drop off Christmas trees for recycling for free at a SOCRRA location. These residents are encouraged to contact SOCRRA directly to determine if and where drop offs are taking place for Christmas tree recycling. Proof of residence is typically required.
The following Oakland County cities have shared plans for Christmas tree recycling:
Residents can leave their undecorated Christmas trees at their curb during the first two full weeks of January to be picked up and recycled. The city says trees will be chipped and chips will be used at Beverly Park.
Rochester Hills residents have the option to either drop off their Christmas trees for recycling or have it picked up from outside of their home. Christmas trees will be able to dropped off at the Clinton River Watershed Council (1115 West Avon Road) -- but dates and times for drop offs have not yet been determined as of Dec. 27.
Residents can also request their undecorated Christmas trees be picked up for recycling. To request a recycling pick up, residents are required to call at least 24 hours before their regularly-scheduled pick up day similar to a “bulk pickup” request.
Residents can leave undecorated Christmas trees at their curb for pick up during the first two weeks of January. Officials say trees will be collected for recycling on regular trash days by a private chipping contractor. Residents are asked to place their trees at the curb by 7 a.m.
Undecorated Christmas trees can be dropped off for free between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. through Jan. 18, 2021 at the following locations:
- Southeast Area Park located on Ellsworth at Platt. Trees may be left at the dirt lot north of the basketball courts.
- West Park parking lot off Chapin near West Huron Street
- Gallup Boat Launch parking lot (not the Gallup Livery), entrance on the southeast side of Geddes Road, East of Huron Parkway
- Olson Park parking lot, 1515 Dhu Varren Road, near Pontiac Trail
If the Jan. 18, 2021 deadline is missed, residents must cut, bundle and save the Christmas tree until the city’s compost collection service resumes in April.
The list above is, of course, not exhaustive. Have information we should add? Shoot us an email!
Most cities in Metro Detroit do have curbside Christmas tree disposal services, but it is unclear if those trees will be recycled or simply disposed of at a landfill. If you’re not sure, contact your local city’s office -- these services typically fall under their public works departments.
If your city is not offering a Christmas tree recycling service, you may be able to drop off your natural tree at a local compost facility. Once you find a site nearby, we encourage you to call in advance to determine if they’re accepting trees. Some locations may require a fee.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday season!