How to get rid 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 clean up the Christmas tree after the holidays quickly and profitably - YASIA

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, before you take it outside, cut or cut down the branches. 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.

Tape can be used to collect 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?

Most of the Christmas trees after the holidays ingloriously end their lives 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 as fertilizer, 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 waste 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. Once at the landfill, they poison groundwater, and when they get to waste incineration plants, they poison the atmospheric air.

According to experts, an ideal option would be to celebrate the New Year outside the city, where you can decorate a live Christmas tree that grows on the site. If it is not there, you can always plant a tree yourself.

Another option is compositions from branches. “If the spruce tree is thinned out a little, it’s even good for the tree,” , specifies Pukalov.

For those who, despite everything, want a living tree, spruce in a tub is a good option. “We have recently developed a network of nurseries of live Christmas trees in pots, - explains Pukalov. - They can be bought for about the same amount of (as the felled one - TASS note). Such a Christmas tree can be brought home for two weeks in a warm place. Then you need to remove the toys from it and place it first in a cool room, and then bury it in the snow. Until spring, it will stand in the snow, then it can either be planted in the park, or taken to the forest, or buried in a summer cottage.

Society - How to take care of a live Christmas tree in an apartment? Learned "Vesti"

The harvesting of Christmas trees in Novosibirsk began in November, active sales of the main symbol of the New Year started this week - 53 legal Christmas tree markets were opened in the city. Novosibirsk will buy about 60 thousand firs. How to properly care for a live Christmas tree so that it does not crumble? The Vesti correspondent learned from scientists how to extend the life of the green beauty.

December 22, 2016, 16:25

Maria Shevlyagina / Photo: open sources

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Caring for a cut spruce is no different from caring for other trees - you need to let the tree not dry out for 2 weeks.

“It is best to buy a Christmas tree not in such severe frosts as we have now. At -30 degrees, moisture freezes in the branches of a tree, and when transporting a Christmas tree to a room, there is a chance that you will severely break off branches that are too fragile when frozen. The more damage a tree has, the faster it will dry out. Therefore, it is better to buy a Christmas tree at -15 degrees, ”said Tatyana Kiseleva, an employee of the Novosibirsk Botanical Garden, candidate of biological sciences.

At home, it is better to let the tree thaw for 6-7 hours. After that, you need to cut the lower part of the tree trunk by 5-6 centimeters - a fresh saw cut will allow the tree to better absorb moisture. You need to saw the trunk at an angle of 45 degrees.

“It is best to keep the Christmas tree in a container with water; the tree must always stand in a cool place. If your apartment is hot, I advise you not to hang an electric garland and from time to time spray the tree with water from a spray bottle. Maybe without a garland it will not be so beautiful, but your spruce will live longer, ”added Kiseleva.

Scientists advise to be careful about the "feeding" of the tree. For example, if you put sugar in a container of water, the tree may begin to bud. The tree will spend more energy on maintaining itself in a “blooming” form, which means it will dry out faster. Therefore, sugar and other additives - gelatin, glycerin and chalk - are undesirable.

On the first day, the revived tree will actively drink water, so you need to check the water container more often and add it all the time. After a couple of days, the spruce will begin to drink moderately, you need to add liquid only once a day.

You also need to take care of the water itself, in which the tree stands. Stagnant water can give off an unpleasant odor. To prevent this from happening, Tatyana Kiseleva advises regularly adding liquid - such a measure will not help completely from the flowering of water, but will delay the onset of a bad smell for several days.

It is not harmful to put an Aspirin tablet into the water - the physical and chemical processes of flowering in water will go weaker.

Biologists advise putting a Christmas tree not only in a container of water, but also in sand. “Sand is a sterile flora, so there will be no decay processes. The water from the sand will evaporate less. You need to fill the container with sand, install the spruce trunk, and then water everything thoroughly. So the Christmas tree will be more secure and the water will not smell unpleasant, ”explained Tatyana Kiseleva.

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