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January 04, 2021

Where to recycle your Christmas tree in Philadelphia

There are city-run collection sites and community events in January offering environmentally friendly options for disposal

Holidays Christmas Trees
Philly Christmas tree recycling Sapan Patel/via Unsplash

The Philadelphia Streets Department's Christmas Tree Recycling Program runs through Saturday, Jan. 16. Residents can drop off their trees at several locations in the city.

The holiday season is in the rearview window. Philadelphia residents who are taking down decorations must now figure out what to do with their live Christmas trees. 

There are several options for disposing or recycling trees, including some environmentally friendly choices.

Christmas trees placed curbside will be collected as trash by the city, and will not be composted. People who wish to recycle their trees need to take them to a city-operated drop-off site or a community collection event. Pickup services also can be arranged.

The Streets Department's Christmas Tree Recycling Program runs through Jan. 16. Residents can bring their trees to one of several designated sites or to a sanitation convenience center. 

The department has created a map of these locations along with the dates and times they are operating.

All Christmas trees must be untied and free of ornaments, making them easier for recycling. The trees are sent to a vendor that cuts them up for composting.

These community groups that are collecting trees for recycling. Each asks for a donation with the tree drop-off:

• Passyunk Square Civic Association: Columbus Square Park; Saturday, Jan. 9 and Sunday, Jan. 10, 9 a.m. to noon; $5 donation.
• South of South Neighborhood Association: 1601 Washington Ave; Saturday, Jan. 9 and Sunday, Jan. 10, 9 a.m. to noon; $5 donation
• Lower Moyamensing Civic Association: South Philadelphia High School; Saturday, Jan. 9, 9 a.m. to noon, and Sunday, Jan. 10, noon to 3 p.m.; $5 donation
• Philly Goat Project: The Farm at Awbury Arboretum; Saturday, Jan. 9 and Saturday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; $20 donation
• Philly Goat Project and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation: Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center. Saturday, Jan. 30, 10 a.m. to noon. $20 donation.

Additionally, Circle Compost, a local environmental organization, and the nonprofit South of South Neighborhood Association are offering to pick up Christmas trees for a fee. Those services are limited to certain sections of Philadelphia; check their websites for more details.

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