How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas TreesWhere and How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas Trees in Minnesota in January 2018

How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas Trees

In many urban and suburban areas, Christmas trees are collected from curbside during the first 2 weeks in January. Be sure to remove all  remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands,  other NON-Organic decorative materials and other materials that are not part of the original tree. This includes tree stands also.  Flocked trees are usually accepted, but not artificial trees. Large trees (larger than the standard 6 - 7 ft tree) may need to be cut in half to be acceptable by your garbage hauler. But scrroll down this page for more specific information and local links.

What happens to the trees? In most cases, the trees are chipped and made into a mulch which is usually made available, free to city or county residents. Important: Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove. Burning the tree may contribute to creosote buildup and could cause a chimney fire.

Tips: Always follow the links (usually the name of the city or county) below for updated information, as these agencies often wait until the last minute to change dates or update their information (it's government, remember?). If your area is Grinding Christmas trees into mulchnot specifically mentioned below, contact your trash collection agency and inquire!

Related information:

See this page for local options to easily recycle your Christmas holiday lights

If it has just snowed; see this page about how to make snocones  from real snow!  Your kids will love it!

Click here for the list of winter sleigh ride locations!

See our easy recipes to make a Chocolate Yule log and click here to make your own low-fat, low calorie but delicious Egg Nog ! Then come back to our other website in March to find a local Easter Egg Hunt for your children !

Minnesota: Where and How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays

  • Anoka County - Click here for locations, updated information and more details.   The Bunker Hills Compost Site is open for two weekends after New Year's Day to accept Christmas trees and boughs, as well as other yard waste. Dates vary. A fee is charged. Trees must be free of tinsel, garland, ornaments and stands. Hours of operation:  Saturday from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Sunday from Noon - 4:30 p.m. Most garbage haulers offer Christmas tree collection as part of their service. Some municipalities collect and chip Christmas trees for mulch. Contact your hauler or municipality to obtain specific pickup information for your area.
  • Carver County, MN - DO NOT throw your Real Christmas Tree in the trash! Real Christmas Trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes. Here are some recycling options and tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays. christmas-treec Ornaments, stands, lights, artificial trees and wire wreaths are NOT ACCEPTED. Please remove trees from plastic bags. Trees will be chipped and used for compost or mulch. Every community is different, but in general, you have these NO CHARGE options:
    Take your Tree to a Drop-off Site
    ► Carver County Environmental Center
    116 Peavey Circle, Chaska, MN 55318
    Visit the Environmental Center page for hours and location.
    ► Cologne City Public Works
    Louis Street W, Cologne, MN 55322
    (roll-off box south of the Cologne City Public Works garage)
    December 26, 2014 - January 10, 2015
    ► Mayer Recycling Drop-Off Site
    15300 County Road 30, Mayer, MN 55360
    (east of the waste water treatment facility)
    Visit the Rural Recycling Drop-Off Site page for hours and location.
    ► NYA Yard Waste Drop-Off Site
    640 Tacoma Blvd, Norwood Young America, MN 55368
    ► Watertown Yard Waste Drop-Off Site
    700 Lewis Ave N, Watertown, MN 55388

    Cities with Christmas Tree Recycling Programs  The following cities offer no charge Christmas tree recycling options to their residents.
    Chanhassen -  Boy Scout Troop 337 will be collecting Christmas trees door-to-door and delivering them to a compost site on Saturday, January 6th for a fee of $10. This event will help raise funds for the troop's annual operating expenses and camp scholarships along with providing a service to residents in disposing of their trees properly and conveniently. To take advantage of this service, you must sign up for it by Wednesday, December 27th. Email Troop 337 at with your name, address, and phone number, and they will provide you with any further details.
    Cologne - Residents can drop off trees at the City of Cologne Public Works garage, 304 Louis St W (roll-off box south of the Cologne City Public Works garage) from December 26th through January 8th.
    Mayer and New Germany - Residents can drop off trees at the City of Mayer yard waste site. Visit the Rural Recycling Drop-Off Site page for hours and location.
    Norwood Young America -  Residents can drop off trees at the City of NYA yard waste site located at 640 Tacoma Blvd.
    Waconia - Residents can drop off trees at the City of Waconia Public Services Facility located at 310 East 10th Street on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting Wednesday, December 27th and ending Friday, January 5th. The site will also be open to residents on Saturday, December 30th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    Watertown - The Watertown-Mayer High School Ecology Club will be picking up trees curbside. Please contact the City of Watertown for the date. Place your tree at the curb by 7 a.m. on that day. Residents can also drop off trees at the City of Watertown yard waste site located at 700 Lewis Avenue North.
    Youth Group Curbside Collection
    Residents in the following communities can set their trees out for youth group curbside collection. Collections typically occur on the 1st or 2nd Saturday of January. See below for collection dates. Dates will also be advertised in local newspapers as the holiday season approaches. Please have your tree at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on the collection day.
    DO NOT include ornaments, stands, lights, artificial trees and wire wreaths. Please remove trees from plastic bags. Trees will be chipped and used for compost or mulch. Wreaths will not be accepted during the collections. Also, Private Hauler Curbside Collection: Call your private hauler and ask if they collect real Christmas trees for recycling and not trash.
  • Douglas and Pope County - Christmas/Holiday Tree Recycling Drop Off. Until January 28th. The trees will be reused at an Alexandria area church and then recycled by being ground up for local park trails. Click here for Drop Off Locations and Dates . Remove all tinsel, plastic bags, metal and wire from trees. No artificial trees accepted. Trees will be chipped up for use in County Parks.
    Recvyclihght lights and eletronics at the Douglas Solid Waste Recycle Center (accepted year-round), ALP Utilities, Runestone Electric Assoc. or Ace Hardware, Glenwood & Alexandria
  • Hennepin County - Put in yard and tree waste; Live Christmas trees should be disposed of as yard waste. Check with your hauler about curbside pickup or take to the nearest location that accepts yard and tree waste. No wreaths or other decorations with metal will be accepted.  All tree stands, ornaments and plastic bags must be removed from the trees.  Flocked trees are acceptable.Loads containing unacceptable material will be rejected. There are also drop off sites .  If you have any questions please call Barry Melquist at 612-348-4491. Christmas tree disposal for residents Many waste haulers will offer pick-up service for Christmas trees during the first few weeks of January - contact your waste hauler or city recycling coordinator for more information. You can also take your tree to a yard waste site that is open year round. Artificial Christmas trees in good shape may be sold, given away or donated to Arc Value Village or Goodwill (accepted from October 1 - December 24). Artificial Christmas trees may be put in the garbage.
  • Minneapolis, MN - After the holidays, there are several ways to dispose of your lights & tree.
    Dispose of Christmas Tree: Place alongside garbage cart before 6:00 a.m. on your regular garbage pickup day. If tree is 6 feet or taller, you must cut in half.
    To recycle Lights see Recycling Association of Minnesota's Recycle Your HolidaysTM program . Hennepin County has year round drop-off facilities in Brooklyn Park and Bloomington for holiday lights Hennepin County A-Z Guide.
  • St. Paul and Ramsey County residents, you can take your tree to a Ramsey County recycling center, where the tree will be turned into mulch and compost to be used on gardens and yards throughout the year. The facilities are open for drop-off on January 9th and 10th. For free drop-off, proof of Ramsey County residency must be provided. (A driver's license will do!)
  • St. Cloud, MN - The Public Works Department has designated Monday, January 8 and Monday, January 22, 2018 for its annual collection of Christmas trees.Residents who wish to use this option are asked to do the following:
    Attach a clear city yard waste bag (green bag is also acceptable) to the tree and make it clearly visible to collection crews. The bag can be tied to a branch or around the lower trunk
    Place the tree in the normal refuse collection area by 6:00 am on pick up date
    Remove all decorations or other attachments. Trees containing metal or cement stands will not be picked up
    Wreaths are not acceptable for recycling because they contain wire
    Questions can be directed to the Public Works Department at (320) 650-2900
  • Washington County, MN -  residents can drop off their trees for a small fee at a number of locations for a small fee, ranging from $1 to $6. Open dates depend on the drop-off site, so be sure to find one that suits you best. At Forest Lake Public Works, for example drop-off is free and residents can recycle their trees through January 29 Here is a list of the 2018 Washington County, MN Christmas Tree drop-off locations