In Hampton Roads, your Christmas tree can have a second life after the holidays. Many localities collect naturally-grown Christmas trees and wreaths and turn them into mulch or compost to reduce landfill contributions. The mulch or compost material created from this seasonal greenery is a low cost way for each city or county to maintain parks and green spaces and some localities are even able to sell excess mulch or compost back to the public. Talk about buying local…your spring mulch could be made from your very own Christmas tree! Check the Christmas tree recycling guide to see what your locality has planned.
Before you send off your trees or wreaths for a second life in the new year, it is important that you remove all lights, tree stands and decorations including tinsel, ornaments and wires as those are not recyclable. Artificial, painted trees or those that are flocked (aka covered in fake snow) can’t be recycled either. Only the natural parts of your trees and wreaths can be accepted for mulching and composting.
Remember, Christmas lights and most holiday decorations DO NOT belong in your curbside recycling container. Consider donating old or unwanted ornaments and decorations to a local school or secondhand store instead. For a complete list of materials you should be recycling at home this holiday season, please review this handy holiday recycling guide and make sure all of your festive waste ends up in the proper place this year!
Happy Holidays from askHRgreen.org!