As soon as holiday celebrations end, one of the main needs of many families is how to dispose of their holiday tree. Montgomery County is now collecting live trees as part of its regularly-scheduled recycling service.
Although the County’s recycling program does not have a deadline for collecting trees, it is highly recommended that trees be recycled soon after the holiday. Cut trees can become dry and then pose a threat as a fire hazard.
Residents need to place their trees for recycling curbside by 7:00 am on their regularly-scheduled recycling collection day. Trees must be free of decorations, including lights, tinsel and garland.
Collected trees are taken to the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station (Transfer Station), where they are shredded and chipped for mulch. The facility is located at 16105 Frederick Road in Derwood. Residents also can drop off their trees for recycling at the yard trim recycling area during normal operating hours of the Transfer Station.
Wreaths, roping and other decorations with live branches and needles are only accepted for recycling if they are separated from wire and metal used to bind them. They also must be free from decorations. Live trees with root balls, or that have their roots intact, cannot be accepted for recycling.
Residents who live in apartments and condominiums should check with their property manager or representative for specific Christmas tree recycling instructions. Property managers of apartments and condominiums must arrange to recycle their residents’ trees.
Businesses and commercial properties also must recycle their live Christmas trees.
Artificial trees are not recyclable in Montgomery County’s recycling program. Residents who want to dispose of their artificial trees are encouraged to post listings on their neighborhood list serve, local Freecycle group or similar reuse network. Otherwise, residents may request a bulk trash pickup for their artificial tree. If a resident has County-provided trash service, they may schedule a collection online or call 311. If a resident has privately-provided trash service, they should check with their collection company for instructions.
For more information about Christmas tree recycling, visit the Christmas Tree Recycling website.