Here’s How To Get Rid Of A Christmas Tree In NYC

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NEW YORK — Oh, post-Christmas tree, how dry and flaky are your branches. New Yorkers may find their indoor evergreens less charming this week, with the presents gone and needles covering their floors.

The city makes it fairly straightforward to get rid of unwanted Christmas trees. But those eager to do so have to wait until the new year before their trees can be recycled and reincarnated.

The Sanitation Department will offer curbside tree pickup from Jan. 2 through Jan. 12. Those putting their trees out should make sure that they’re “naked” — that means no stands, lights, tinsel or ornaments, even the ugly ones.

The department says it collected more than 200,000 trees for recycling after Christmas last year. Trees are chipped and turned into compost for parks, community gardens and other institutions, the department said.

“While Christmas trees are in our homes for only a short period of time, recycling can give them a longer life,” Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said in a statement Wednesday. “After collection, the trees are turned into compost to give life to plants in our city’s parks and community gardens.


If you have a mostly plastic or metal tree, the Sanitation Department suggests selling or donating it. If that won’t work, you can put your naked fake tree out on a regular recycling day.

New Yorkers can also drop their trees off at one of 68 sites participating in Mulchfest, a Parks Department program that runs from Jan. 4 to 13 this year. If you wait until the final two days, you can take home your own a bag of mulch.

“We encourage New Yorkers to bid their tree ‘fir-well’ at Mulchfest, making it a part of their Holiday tradition,” Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver said in a statement. “By making greening a family activity, we all can help reduce waste, and protect and nourish other trees and plants across the city year-round.”

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