When Your Christmas Tree Turns Brown, Stay Green by Recycling It

After the presents have been opened and the stockings emptied comes the time to discard that pile of pine needles. But don’t send that puppy off to the landfill. (Unfortunately, when thrown into a landfill, a tree won’t have enough oxygen to allow it to break down.)

Instead, go green this holiday season by recycling your tree or allowing to decompose. San Diego has programs to "recycle" Christmas trees, meaning they’ll be turned into mulch, wood chips, or compost.

So how do you recycle your festive fir in San Diego? There are four ways: take your tree to a tree recycling drop-off station, leave it on your curb for curbside pickup, give it to one of your friends who has a woodchipper or leave it in nature to decompose.

 

Take your tree to a recycling drop-off station

First, strip your tree of any ornaments, tinsel or lights. Then drive to one of the 17 drop-off stations around San Diego, all open Dec. 26 through Jan. 23. If you miss that window, don’t worry, because the Miramar Greenery accepts trees throughout the year.

 

Leave your tree outside for curbside pick-up

If you’re a resident of an area that collects yard waste, just move the tree outside into your yard-waste bin, and the city will gladly do the recycling for you (just make sure there’s nothing on it). If your tree is taller than four feet, you will need to cut it in half, Paul Bunyan.

 

Got land?

If the answer is yes, then simply place it in your yard and let nature take its course.

 

Give it to a wood-chipping friend

Know someone who owns a woodchipper? Fantastic. Once the tree is completely stripped of all decorations (metal objects and spinning blades don’t mix well, after all) toss it in.

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