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How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas TreesWhere and How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas Trees in San Mateo County, California after Christmas 2023 and in January 2024

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 ! There are affiliate links on this page. Read our disclosure policy to learn more.

San Mateo County, California: Where and How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays January 2024

If you do not find your area below (which is unlikely, this is a fairly comprehensive list), click here to contact your city or county's recycling coordinator directly.

San Mateo County, California Christmas Tree Recycling Programs

For your specific area, see below, and call your trash hauler.

  • San Mateo County - Dates may vary - call or see their website before you go!!!
  • Please remove all tinsel, lights, decorations, and stands from your holiday tree.

    For single-family household residents:
    Leave the tree next to your green Compost Cart and Recology will pick it up for you between January 1st and January 31st on your regular collection day.

    For apartment and condominium residents:
    Property Managers need to schedule a tree collection in advance between January 2nd and January 31st, on behalf of the entire complex. Please contact Recology to schedule your tree collection! Holiday trees will be collected in centrally located piles and in existing on-site compost containers for no additional charge between January 2nd and January 31st. Tree collections after January 31st, if not placed in existing compost containers, are subject to additional fees
  • IF you have a private hauler, see their website or call them at the numbers below - the dates shown may have changed!




    Republic Services of Daly City and Colma
    Republic Services of Dale City and Colma Website

    December 26 - January 30

    • December 26 - January 30, trees must be cut into 6-foot lengths.
    • Place tree at the curb next to your compost cart.
    • Flocked trees are accepted, but not recycled.
    • After January 30, trees must be cut up and placed inside the compost cart. Pieces must fit inside the cart with the lid closed.

    Republic Services of Half Moon Bay
    Republic Services of Half Moon Bay Website

    December 26 - January 30

    • December 26 - January 30, trees must be cut into 6-foot lengths
    • Place tree at the curb next to your yard (green) waste cart.
    • After January 30, trees must be cut up and placed inside the yard (green) waste cart. Pieces must fit inside the cart with the lid closed.

    Kunz Valley Trash and Recycling
    (Unincorporated San Mateo County).
    Kunz Valley Trash and Recycling Website

    January 2 - January 7

    • Trees must be cut into 4-foot lengths.

    GreenWaste Recovery, Inc.
    (Woodside and Portola Valley).
    GreenWaste Recovery Website

    December 26 - January 31

    • 4 feet or less.
    • After January 31, all trees must be cut up to fit loosely in your compost cart.
    • Accepts flocked trees.
    • Trees must be curbside or on main road (no on-property collection).

    Recology of the Coast
    650-355-9000 .
    Recology of the Coast Website.

    County Areas .
    650-355-8400 .
    Recology of the Coast Website

    December 26 - January 31

    • 4 feet or less.
    • Pacifica Residents Only - After January 31, cut up your tree and place into your green compost cart. Make sure the lid closes completely.

    Recology San Bruno
    Recology San Bruno Website

    December 26 - January 31

    • 4 feet or less.
    • After January 31, cut your tree into pieces and place inside your green compost cart. Please be sure the lid closes completely.
    • Does NOT accept flocked trees for composting. Must call 24 hours prior to your service day for pick-up.

    Recology San Mateo County
    Recology San Mateo County Website

    December 26 - January 31

    • 8 feet or less.
    • After January 31, trees need to be cut into pieces and placed inside the compost cart. The pieces must fit inside.
    • Accepts flocked trees.

    South San Francisco Scavenger Co.
    South San Francisco Scavenger Website

    Any time.

    • 6 feet or less.
    • No flocked trees will be recycled. Place with regular trash on garbage collection day.

    San Mateo Recycling Drop-off Locations

    If you do not have curbside service available, the following locations will accept your tree for a fee. Flocked trees will be charged as garbage. Remove stands, lights, tinsel, ornaments and other decorations.


    Be sure to call to confirm dates


    Blue Line Transfer, Inc.


    Monday - Friday
    6:30 am -4:30 pm;.
    7 am to 4:30 pm

    500 East Jamie Court,.
    South San Francisco

    Ox Mountain Landfill


    Monday - Saturday
    8 am to 4:30 pm

    12310 San Mateo Road,.
    Half Moon Bay

    Pescadero Transfer Station


    10 am to 5:30 pm.
    9 am to 4:30 pm

    Bean Hollow Road and Artichoke Road,.

    Shoreway Environmental Center


    Monday to Friday.
    6 am to 6 pm;.
    8 am to 5:00 pm

    333 Shoreway Road,.
    San Carlos

If you miss your free pickup:

California Christmas Tree Recycling - has a service for which you must pay - Click here there to reserve your pick-up online with this easy form. They say they will contact you within 24 hours with a confirmation and price quote. or Call today to book your 4 hour time slot. Los Angeles (310) 584-6589 San Fernando Valley (818) 986-1300 San Diego County (858) 433-0359 Prices start at (Prices may have changed!) (Prices may have changed!) $25 and go up with the size of the tree.

  • Note about Monterey Pine disposal: take precautions when disposing of your Christmas trees this year to help control the spread of pine pitch canker, an incurable disease that has killed thousands of Monterey pine trees. Pine pitch canker, a fungal disease recently introduced to California, causes dieback and mortality in native and ornamental pine trees. It may also infect Monterey pine Christmas trees. While every attempt is made to sell only disease-free Christmas trees, some trees could harbor the disease without showing symptoms. Since there is no known cure for pitch canker, limiting its spread is the key to prevention. The disease is present in 16 coastal and adjacent inland California counties from Mendocino to San Diego. Bark beetles, which carry the fungus, primarily infest Monterey and Bishop pines but also feed and breed on inland forest trees such as Ponderosa pine. As yet, the disease has not been found in the Sierras. It does not infect humans, pets or other plants.

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