How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas TreesWhere and How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas Trees in Thurston County, Washington State 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.

Thurston County, Washington State: Where and How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays January 2024


  • Thurston County, WA - Questions? Call (360) 867-2491.  or email [email protected].  Residents​ can have their Christmas Tree Recycled after the holiday season, free Christmas tree collection and drop-off opportunities are available county-wide. To prepare your tree for recycling, please remove all ornaments, lights, stands, nails, and tinsel prior to drop-off. Flocked trees are accepted. 
    Drop-off: Trees are accepted at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center (WARC) 
    Waste and Recovery Center (Lacey): December 26 to mid-January
    Rainier: December 26 to mid-January
    Rochester: December 26 to mid-January
    Tenino: December 26 to mid-January
    Yelm: December 26 to mid-January
     (closed January 1). The WARC is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. 
    Thurston County Waste & Recovery Center
    2420 Hogum Bay Rd NE, Lacey, WA 98516
    Phone: (360) 786-5494.
    Rainier Drop-Box Facility
    13010 Rainier Acres Road Southeast, Rainier, Washington, United States 360-867-2491
    Rochester Drop-Box Facility
    16500, Sargent Road Southwest, Rochester, Thurston County, Washington, 98579, United States 360-867-2491
    Yelm Christmas Tree Drop-Off
    124 3rd Avenue Southeast, Yelm, Washington, United States 360-458-8406
    Tenino Christmas Tree Drop-Off
    418 Wichman Street South, Tenino, Washington, United States (360) 264-2368
  • City of Lacey residents: Local Boy Scouts will pick up trees within city limits.  BSA Troop 222 Scouts will provide curbside pick-up of holiday trees on the second Saturday in January (January 7, 2023) for residents within Lacey city limits. Troop 222 accepts donations for this great community service, and can be made online at BSA Troop 222, PO Box 5379, Lacey 98509. Trees must have all decorations removed and be placed curbside in front of homes by 8:00 a.m. Troop 222 accepts donations for this great community service, which can be made online at Troop 222, or BSA Troop 222, PO Box 5379, Lacey, WA 98509. For more information contact Lacey Public Affairs, 360-491-3214 or email [email protected] .
  • City of Olympia  garbage customers: For customers with
    Tuesday/Wednesday service, tree pickup will be in the first week of January
    For Thursday/Friday service, pickup will be in mid-January,
    Place tree in regular pickup spot by 6:00 a.m. Trees over 6 feet must be cut in half. Call City of Olympia at 360-754-8340 for more information.
  • City of Tumwater Residents may place undecorated trees behind the curb near their closest main intersection beginning January 10. Please be sure to keep sidewalks, bike lanes, and roadways clear when dropping off trees. It may take several days for crews to pick up all trees. For more information, please contact Tumwater Public Works Operations at 360-754-4150.
    Multi-family complex residents: Check with your property manager for tree placement locations.
  • City of Tenino residents can take trees to 418 S. Wichman St from December 26 to mid-January
  • City of Yelm residents can place trees in designated dumpster at Yelm City Park anytime from December 26 through mid-January or until full.
  • LeMay yard/food waste customers: Place your tree in or near your yard/food waste cart (in sections 3 feet or less). Extra fee(s) apply for customers not signed up for yard/food waste collection. Call LeMay at 360-923-0111 for information.
  • Thurston County Rochester and Rainier have Drop-Box Facilities for trees
  • Rainier residents: Take trees for free to the Rainier Drop-Box Facility at 13010 Rainier Acres Rd. from December 26 to mid-January (open Friday - Sunday only, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed January 1.).
  • Rochester residents: Take trees for free to the Rochester Drop-Box Facility at 16500 Sargent Road from December 26 to mid-January (open Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday only, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
  • All other areas of the state (just enter your zip code on the page that comes up)


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