How to dispose of a christmas tree in an apartment

11 Ways to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree

  • While some apartment dwellers are able to just drag trash out to the curb, most renters must find an alternative way of disposing of their old Christmas trees
  • Even without curbside pickup, some properties have restrictions on placing trees or other living items in regular designated trash areas
  • Luckily, there are a number of solutions, including recycling, upcycling and even returning your tree

The day after Christmas and all through the house, nobody knew what to do with the darn apartment tree now that Christmas was over.

When you live in an apartment, you may not have the ability to just drag your old tree to the curb and wait for pick-up.

Whether you have a dumpster, some community trash collection area or indeed can put trash out at the end of a driveway, there are a number of ways for you to safely dispose of your tree after Christmas instead of watching it turn brown in your living room as the calendar changes.

Here are 11 Christmas tree disposal ideas for you as the season winds down.

1. Put the tree out with the trash

The easiest thing to do with your tree after Christmas is to take it out to the trash to be collected as recycling. Depending on your rental situation, this may mean hauling it out to the curb, taking it out to your bulk trash pickup area or having some designated tree plan.

If your apartment is in a residential neighborhood and you regularly take your trash to the curb, check with your local city or township for rules, dates and times as to when you're allowed to put your tree out with your normal collection for recycling.

If you live in a building or complex with private or bulk pickup (like a dumpster), ask your landlord or management office what the policy is (or look for a posting on a community bulletin board or in the Facebook group) and when and where you can take your tree to be sent to its final resting place.

But if your apartment or complex doesn't have or doesn't allow drop off of your tree, you have a few options…


Take your tree to a drop-off site

Most municipalities have some sort of organized tree drop-off plan. In fact, there are more than 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs throughout the country, most run by local waste disposal departments. Drop off your tree, drive away and don't look back — unless you want to see your memories given the “Fargo" treatment. It couldn't be more simple.

The idea of hauling your slowly-decaying tree in your personal vehicle to a drop-off site may not sound like fun, but doing it right will minimize the damage and mess. If you can find a bag or box big enough to hold the remains (even if you have to cut it into a few pieces), you will keep pine needles and sap from getting all over and in your car. Then, do the reverse of how you got it home in the first place. Strap it to the roof or toss it in the back. And if none of this is feasible, find a friend that owns a pickup.

3. Chip your tree into nothingness

Instead of abandoning your tree at a recycle dump like an unwanted child, turn your tree into wonderful mulch. If your apartment has a garden or flowerbed or a landscaped lawn, you can toss O' Tannenbaum into a woodchipper and let your tree live on.

Mulch and chips are great around bushes and small trees where they can help keep moisture in the soil and stave off direct sunlight. And as the chips decompose, the wood releases nutrients into the ground.

Don't have a giant woodchipper lying around your apartment? No problem. Many cities and non-profit organizations offer chipping events where you can have your tree turned into mulch and either take it home or donate it to the local parks and rec department to be used in city parks.

New York's two-day “Mulchfest" is held annually around the city and recycles more than 26,000 trees a year. And in Atlanta, the “Bring One for the Chipper" program is more than 25 years old and shreds more than 100,000 trees annually.

4. Dump your tree into a lake (nicely)

An alternative to schlepping your tree to a recycler or drop off is to dump it in a lake. Believe it or not, you can actually toss your (chemical-free) tree, trunk and branches separately into a pond or lake and the wood will provide shelter for overwintering fish. Discard your tree and help the environment.

Well, not just any lake and not just however you want. First, find a nearby lake or pond and then, contact the municipality where it's located to make sure you're following all local ordinances.

5. Dump your tree into your fish tank

On a much smaller scale, you can also snap off some of the smaller branches and twigs and arrange them in your home or office fish tank to give your fish a new and natural place to hide and chill out. Just be sure the wood is completely clean and dirt free before tanking it.

6. Reuse just the needles

If you don't have an outdoor space (or fish), you can just upcycle the needles. Before you take your tree to a drop off site, shake a bunch of the needles off into a bag and spread them over the soil in your outdoor spaces or in a flowerbox or planter. The needles break down like mulch and work on balancing out the pH levels in alkaline soil.

7. Use your tree to smell fresh year 'round

The needles can also keep your house smelling sweet all year, as well. Only if your tree's needles are still green and fresh-looking (give them a sniff), strip a bunch of them off and toss them into small paper bags. Stick the bag anywhere you want to smell piney fresh like a closet or catbox area and they'll last a lot longer than you'd expect.

8. Make fire from your tree

If you're one of the lucky ones to have a fireplace in your rental, congratulations … you have some post-Christmas firewood for the rest of winter. You may not have a woodchipper at your disposal, but someone you know somewhere has a saw or axe if you don't have one. With great care, take your tree to an open space in your complex (ask to make sure you're allowed) or somewhere nearby and start chopping.

Well, not right away. If the wood is still wet, take it away from a water source and let it dry. Wet wood in a fire can cause fires where you don't want them. And if your tree is too dried out, it won't burn properly. It's a fine line. Either way, most Christmas trees are small and slender, so you'll wind up with some good kindling or fire starters.

9. Replant your tree

If you have a backyard spot or community green space, and your tree hasn't been cut or had its root ball damaged, you can actually replant it. If you live in warmer climates, and if your tree didn't get dried out inside your house, especially next to vents or heaters, your tree may have a second life.

And new to the scene are actual companies that will rent you a tree, deliver it for the holiday and then come pick it up and replant it for you. It's like Netflix for Christmas trees (OK, well kinda)!

10. Return your tree

And believe it or not, you may actually be able to return your tree! No, not for your money back, but in many places, you can drop your tree off back where you bought it. Some large lots and tree farms will take your tree back and recycle or upcycle it themselves. Ask them when you make your purchase if you can return it, or give them a call.

11. DIY your tree

Remember, your tree is made of wood! That means, if you have the requisite skill, you can make the perfect Etsy-level DIY projects from your soon-to-be-former Christmas tree. Try some of these projects, using the trunk, the branches or just the twigs:

  • Winter wreaths or window boxes
  • Plant supports and wooden plant markers
  • Tree trunk coasters
  • Tree trunk tealight logs
  • Tree branch candlesticks
  • Wall art
  • A wood slice clock
  • And yes, even a didgeridoo

Until next year

Regardless of what you decide to do with your Christmas tree, just know you have options other than dumping it somewhere under the cover of darkness. Or you could always just go with the artificial version and box it back up for next year.

Christmas Tree Disposal: How to Responsibly Throw Out Your Tree

The gifts are unwrapped, your recycling can is overflowing with wrapping paper, and you’re fresh out of eggnog – the holidays are over, and you’re ready to finally get some time away from your extended family and let the holidays rest in peace. Taking down your decorations and throwing away the mountain of torn wrapping paper is easy, but disposing of your Christmas tree seems to be a more daunting task – even though it doesn’t have to be.

There are plenty of options for disposing of your tree – but make sure that before you pursue any of them, you remove all decorations and lights from your tree. The last thing you want is a mild electrical fire while trying to get rid of the giant dry tree in your living room.

Here are some easy ways to dispose of your Christmas tree:

Call on the Scouts

Not only do many Boy or Girl Scout troops sell Christmas trees, they also offer pickup. If you find an envelope left on your door in mid-December, it’s likely from your local troop – just fill out a few pieces of information (and if you’d like, write a check donating to their troop), then leave it on your doorknob. They’ll come by on the appointed date and pick it up from your curb, so all you need to do is bring your old Christmas tree outside.

Give Back to Mother Nature by Recycling

The easiest place to recycle your tree? Your local recycling center. Check on your local waste management or recycling center’s website to see if they’re allowing you to drop off your tree. If they are allowing them, chances are, they’re letting you drop them off free of a dump fee. And should you need help getting your tree to the center, get Dolly to come lend a hand (and a truck). And for a limited time this holiday season, Chicagoans can get their Christmas tree picked up for recycling by Dolly for just $25.

Find a Nonprofit Christmas Tree Collector

While the Boy Scouts can come pick up your tree if you arrange in advance, many nonprofits will allow tree drop-offs with no scheduled appointment, a perfect solution for the procrastinating planner. Girls and Boys Club chapter frequently do this, as do smaller, local nonprofits – just google “Christmas tree collection nonprofit” and your city to find a plethora of results.

See if Your Firehouse is Collecting

Can’t find a nonprofit that’s collecting? In an effort to prevent house fires, many fire stations will take your trees and dispose of them responsibly as well. And if your kids are out of school over the holidays, this is a great activity for them that isn’t sitting in front of the TV.

Donate to a Local Park, Preserve, or Protected Area

While many groups will collect trees, then bring them to recycling centers in bulk, nature preserves, parks, and protected forests will collect trees to immediately turn into mulch. This is a great eco-friendly solution if you’re concerned about the environmental impact of using a real Christmas tree.

Cut It Up and Get Crafty

If you’re particularly good with a saw and some ribbon, you can cut the tree up into smaller pieces and turn it into various winter and Christmas decor pieces you can use for years to come. Pinterest is full of ideas for how to do this.

Let Your Trash Collector Take It Away

Certain cities, like Seattle and Portland, let you leave you tree on the curb for the recycler to come pick them up on your regular garbage day. You can leave it on your curb, or chop it up into smaller pieces and place it in your yard waste bin. Just make sure to check if pickup is available first – some areas won’t allow it, even if your city does.

Work With Your Landlord to Organize a Building-Wide Collection

If you live in a large apartment complex, talk to your landlord about designating a collection area for residents to put their leftover trees. Once all the trees are gathered, it’s easy to use a service like Dolly to gather up the trees and bring them to a local recycling center, dump, or donation site.

Whether you’re dropping off your tree with a local charity, taking it all the way across the city to the recycling center, or hauling a heavy one down 3 flights of stairs, Dolly is here to help. Our Helpers will load up your tree into their truck, make the trip for you, and handle all the messy heavy lifting. Just book a Dolly, sit back, and start planning for your New Year’s resolutions.


Dolly helps you move on your schedule and at an affordable price. Book now and see the difference:

How to get rid of the Christmas tree after the holidays – Moscow 24, 09.01.2020

January 09, 2020, 00:02


cause inconvenience, which means it's time to endure it. Only here it is forbidden to throw trees in the wrong place. We tell you how to get rid of the main New Year's symbol for the benefit of everyone.

Do not spill needles

Photo: depositphotos/astrophytum

Before you start cleaning the Christmas tree, spread a large sheet or cellophane around it. Using this simple method, you can avoid clutter in the apartment. And then you can safely remove all the decorations from the Christmas tree.

The most crucial moment is the removal of the tree. Lucky for those whose Christmas tree is small in size, because it can be wrapped in a bag, wrapped, for example, with tape. If the tree is large, then for starters it is best to cut the branches as close to the trunk as possible and only then pack the tree. The crumbled needles can be removed with a vacuum cleaner.

Give a second life

Photo: Moscow 24/Nikita Simonov

The easiest way to get rid of a coniferous beauty is to throw it into a large-sized waste container, such as there are in some areas of Moscow. Specialists will take the spruce to the landfill - no benefit, but no harm either.

The most humane way to get rid of the main symbol of the New Year is to send it for recycling. For this purpose, for example, the action "Christmas tree cycle" has been held in the capital for several years. In special points throughout the city, the organizers collect already outdated trees. There is only one requirement for delivery - it is necessary to remove tinsel and other decorations from the Christmas tree so that they do not damage the equipment. It will crush the wood into wood chips, which will then be used for fertilizer or as bedding in animal enclosures.

Addresses of points where spruce is accepted for processing can be found here.

Make coniferous procedures

Photo: depositphotos/pressahotkey

There are many options on how to partially dispose of a Christmas tree after the holidays for the benefit of the home. For example, if you are a fan of taking a steam bath, then you can make an excellent broom out of branches. It is important that the branches are still green and fluffy, otherwise the needles are very prickly and quickly crumble. Before steaming, you should release the broom into boiling water for 10-20 minutes, then the needles will become softer.

Pine needles can also be used as a bath filler or as a hair care product. Pour two handfuls of needles with one liter of hot water, boil for 10 minutes and pour into the bath. Instead of needles, you can use the bark of a Christmas tree, then the broth should be allowed to brew for four hours.

Some people make natural soap from a special soap base and ground needles. Experienced recommend grinding ordinary baby soap on a grater and warming it in a water bath. And for smell and color, add food coloring or essential oils.

Take care of more than just yourself

Photo: depositphotos/maximleshkovich

Dry branches from a Christmas tree can be useful in the country: dried needles are used to make a special flooring on the ground for growing garden crops - it protects the soil from drying out and overheating. And the trunk can be used for firewood or coals for barbecue.

If you don't have a country house, but it's a pity to throw away the Christmas tree, you can try to directly contact organizations that use needles as animal feed. It can be various livestock farms or zoos.

Soboleva Ilona


Mass media news2

How to clean up the Christmas tree after the holidays quickly and profitably - YSIA

A live Christmas tree is a pleasant smell and a New Year's mood. But the holidays end sooner or later, the tree begins to crumble and cause inconvenience. Usually at this moment people take it to the dumpster, filling the floor in the apartment and the entrance with needles from dried spruce along the way. How to get rid of the Christmas tree so as not to clean up after this half day, and how you can use the tree for good, TASS reports.

Where to start?

First spread a large sheet or cellophane around the tree. This will help minimize the mess and quickly and easily remove the needles and sawdust that will definitely appear during the removal of the Christmas tree. After that, you can remove toys, light bulbs and tinsel from the tree.

How to take the Christmas tree out of the apartment?

If your tree is small, you can wrap it whole in a trash bag or lay it on a sheet, wrap it in cloth and secure it with string or tape.
If you have chosen a large tree, cut or cut down the branches before taking it outside. This should be done as close to the trunk as possible. Put the branches in garbage bags and take them out with the trunk.

What to do with needles?

Even if you have completed the previous steps, some needles will still remain on the floor. They can be removed with a vacuum cleaner. But keep in mind that the needles can damage it.

You can use tape to collect the needles. By applying it with the sticky side to the carpet, you can easily remove all the needles.

Christmas tree in a bag, needles removed. What's next?

After the holidays, most Christmas trees end their lives ingloriously in a landfill or incinerator.

There are much more useful ways to dispose of them. In some cities, at the end of the New Year holidays, volunteers organize the collection and processing of used fir trees. In the future, they are crushed and turned into chips using woodworking machines.

How can chopped spruce be used?

According to experts from the WWF Russia Forest Program, spruce chips can be used in fertilizers, as an alternative fuel for boilers, and even as feed and bedding for some animals. But it is important to remember that on the trees that are handed over for processing, there should be no remnants of tinsel and toys.

How many people take their Christmas trees to places like this?

Environmentalists say that while most people just throw away Christmas trees, and only a few think about environmentally friendly disposal. According to the experts of the WWF Russia Forest Program, Christmas trees are handed over for processing only by people who are close to the theme of caring for natural resources. The reason for this, among other things, is that people receive little information about such actions.

In addition, the recycling system in Russia is still not sufficiently developed in principle, adds Roman Pukalov, Director of Environmental Programs of the All-Russian Public Organization "Green Patrol" . “Perhaps the Kremlin Christmas tree will be crushed, treated with sulfates, pressed, and ten clubs will be made from it. But this is not the Russian experience,” he says.

Maybe next year it is worth buying an artificial spruce so as not to suffer with a live one?

Ecologists insist that a live Christmas tree brought home will surely die. “At the incineration plant (where the spruce gets from the dumpster) it becomes an additional source of carbon dioxide and, perhaps, gives the city some heat. This is definitely a plus. But it would have been better if it had not been cut down initially, so that it would remain in the woods,” says Roman Pukalov.

Artificial spruce seems to be more environmentally friendly and economically advantageous, because you buy one product for several years. However, according to the experts of the WWF Russia Forest Program, the disposal of such spruce has a much more negative impact on the environment than the processing of live spruce. Because it is quite difficult to recycle plastic spruce trees, and they practically do not decompose.

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