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December 30, 2021

Feeding your Christmas tree to goats and other ways to recycle those holiday evergreens

Philly Goat Project's Tree-Cycle event at Awbury Arboretum event is one of several where residents can responsibly dispose of their holiday decorations

Holiday Christmas Trees
Christmas tree recycling Philly Denisse Leon/Unsplash

A number of community collection events, drop-off sites and pickup services are available in January to Philly residents who need to dispose of their Christmas trees.

The holiday season is drawing to a close, which means it's unfortunately time to start taking down the decorations.

And for those who purchased a real Christmas tree this year, it also means figuring out how to get rid of it.

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Philly residents can place Christmas trees at their curbs to be collected with trash. But recycling is more environmentally friendly; recycled trees are often used for mulch in community parks, to prevent weeds, to create habitats and to prevent erosion.

The Philadelphia Streets Department has multiple community collection events, drop-off sites and pickup services taking place through January — including one in which goats will snack on your Christmas tree for a donation.

The Philly Goat Project's fourth-annual Tree-Cycle event will feature the nonprofit's animals eating Christmas trees for a $20 donation that will go towards the organization's year-round free programming. Some trees also also be turned into wood chips to help cover trails and gardens throughout Philly.

The event is scheduled to take place on Jan. 8 and Jan. 22 from 12-3 p.m. at The Farm at Awbury Arboretum in Northwest Philly. Rain dates are scheduled for Jan. 9 and Jan. 23.

People do not need to have a Christmas tree in order to attend. The family-friendly event will offer opportunities to explore the farm, pet the goats and enjoy hot chocolate around a fire pit. No reservations are necessary.

Below is a list of the other community collection events taking place in Philadelphia in January. A donation is required to dispose of a tree at each.

• East Mt. Airy Neighbors: Historic Upsala Mansion; Sunday, Jan. 2, 12:30-3:30 p.m.; $5 donation
• South Philly Green: Guerin Recreation Center; Sunday, Jan. 2, 12-3 p.m.; $5 donation
• Passyunk Square Civic Association: Columbus Square Park; Saturday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $5 donation
• Lower Moyamensing Civic Association: South Philadelphia High School; Saturday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 9 from 12 p.m.-3 p.m.; $5 donation
• UC Green: Clark Park; Saturday, Jan. 8, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; $6-$20 donation
• UC Green: Malcolm X Park; Saturday, Jan. 8, 12 p.m.-2 p.m.; $6-$20 donation
• South Philly Green: Manton Green; Sunday, Jan. 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $5 donation

The city will have 19 drop-off sites and sanitation convenience centers collecting Christmas trees from Jan. 3-15. Trees must be untied, with all ornaments and lights removed before dropping off. 

The 13 drop-off locations will be open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m on Jan. 8 and Jan. 15 .

• 7901 Ridgeway St. (Fox Chase Recreation Center)
• 1400 Cottman Ave. (Jardel Recreation Center)
• American and Thompson streets
• Broad and Christian streets
• 15th and Bigler streets
• Castor and Foulkrod streets
• Corinthian and Poplar streets
• 43rd Street and Powelton Avenue
• 54th Street and Woodbine Avenue
• Logan Street and Wayne Avenue
• Ardleigh Street and Washington Lane
• Seminole Street and Gravers Lane
• Cathedral Road and Ridge Avenue

The city's six sanitation convenience centers will collect Christmas trees from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. everyday except Sundays. 

• Ashburner Street and State Road
• 3901 N. Delaware Ave.
• 3033 S. 63rd St.
• 5100 Grays Ave.
• 2601 W. Glenwood Ave.
• 300 Domino Lane

Bennett Compost and Circle Compost are offering pickup services for $20 per Christmas tree over the first three weekends of January.

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