Tossing Away the Christmas Tree

Christmas has come and gone, and you might be wondering, what do I do with the Christmas tree? If you have a real tree that you need to get rid of, the city offers options.

Starting Friday, January 6, the Department of Sanitation will be picking up trees and wreaths left on the curb to be composted. The trees are chipped, mixed with leaves, and recycled into rich compost for NYC’s parks, institutions, and community gardens. Be sure to remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel and plastic bags from your tree; trees that still have these items attached will be collected as garbage. Do not bag your tree. Trees will be collected from curbs for composting through January 14. If you discard your tree after this date, it will be collected as regular garbage.

Another option is to participate in the Parks Department’s MulchFest, in which trees are chipped and participants can take home a bag of mulch to use in personal gardens. It will take place on Saturday, January 7 and Sunday, January 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at nearly 80 locations across the city. Unfortunately, the closest chipping sites are Marine Park (East 33rd and Avenue U) and Forest Park on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale. There are also designated drop-off sites where trees will be picked up for MulchFest and used for mulch. The only local drop-off location is Beach 94th Street and Shore Front Parkway. You can drop off your tree there until January 8.

For more information on Christmas tree collection and recycling or MulchFest, visit, or call 311.

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