The holidays are over, but your Christmas tree might still be hanging around. If you’re looking to recycle the holiday decoration, Baltimore and the surrounding counties offer programs that turn live Christmas trees into mulch or compost.
Before dropping a tree on the curb or at a recycling facility, you’ll need to make sure it’s free of tinsel, ornaments, lights or any other nonorganic adornments. Some counties also require you to cut large trees into smaller pieces before they can be dropped off for recycling.
And, just to be clear, these recycling programs don’t accept artificial trees.
Here’s what you need to know about recycling a live Christmas tree in the Baltimore area.
The Department of Public Works is offering free Christmas tree mulching services to city residents now through Feb. 3. Residents should bring bags or containers with them to collect mulch for their own use, according to a release from the city.
Trees must be brought to the Northwest Residential Drop-off Center at 2840 Sisson Street. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Baltimore County will start collecting live Christmas trees for recycling on Jan. 8. Trees must be placed outside, at the same location where residents normally put trash and recycling for collection, by Jan. 13 to ensure pickup during the two-week collection period.
Trees won’t necessarily be picked up on residents’ scheduled trash and recycling days, so trees should be left out until they’re collected. The trees will be delivered to facilities to be chipped and later used as mulch, according to a release from the county.
Residents who wish to drop off a Christmas tree for recycling can do so at the county’s three trash and recycling drop-off centers:
- White Marsh: Eastern Sanitary Landfill Solid Waste Management Facility, 6259 Days Cove Road
- Cockeysville: Central Acceptance Facility, 201 West Warren Road
- Halethorpe: Western Acceptance Facility, 3310 Transway Road
You can check the Bureau of Solid Waste Management website for directions, hours and more information about the drop-off centers.
Howard County’s Bureau of Environmental Services is offering free holiday tree recycling to county residents until Jan. 20. All the trees will be taken to the composting facility at Alpha Ridge Landfill and recycled into compost and mulch, county officials said.
Holiday trees must be cut into less than 4-foot pieces and tied but not bagged. Each bundle of tree material must weigh less than 40 pounds.
Howard County residents with curbside yard trim collection services can set their holiday trees out on yard trim day for collection through Jan. 19. County residents can also drop off their trees at one of several locations during business hours.
- Clarksville: Kendall Hardware, 12260 Clarksville Pike
- Columbia: Cedar Lane Park, 5081 Cedar Lane
- Elkridge: Rockburn Branch Park (East), 5400 Landing Road
- Ellicott City: Old Circuit Court parking lot on upper Court House Drive (just past Ellicott Mills Drive, on the right) and Clarks Ace Hardware, 10325 Baltimore National Pike
- Highland: Schooley Mill Park, 12975 Hall Shop Road
- Marriottsville: Alpha Ridge Landfill Wood Waste Area, 2350 Marriottsville Road (open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- Savage: Savage Park, 8400 Fair St.
- Cooksville: Western Regional Park, 14800 Carrs Mill Road
Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel County treats live Christmas trees like other yard waste and there’s no cutoff date on when they can be collected.
You can put them out with other yard waste on your collection day before 6 a.m. and they will be chipped into mulch. “Very tall trees” should be cut in half in order to fit in collection trucks, according to the Public Works website.
Christmas trees can also be brought to any of the counties’ recycling centers:
- Glen Burnie: Northern Recycling Center, 100 Dover Road North East
- Severn: Central Recycling Center, 389 Burns Crossing Road
- Deale: Central Recycling Center, 5400 Nutwell Sudley Road
You can check the Bureau of Waste Management Services website for directions, hours and more information about the recycling centers.
Carroll County offers two locations where residents can drop off live Christmas trees to be recycled and reused as chips, mulch or compost.
- Westminster: Carroll County Resource Recovery Park, 1400 Baltimore Blvd.
- Woodbine: WeCare Denali, 7901 Kabik Court (select Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.)
You can see the full list of days WeCare Denali is open as well as directions and other information on the Solid Waste Operations website.
The Department of Public Works is offering free live Christmas tree recycling to Harford county residents at three locations.
- Joppa: Christmas tree only recycling, 808 Philadelphia Road (Saturdays in January from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
- Street: Harford Mulch & Compost Facility, 3139 Scarboro Road
- Bel Air: Tollgate Yard Trim Facility, 703 N. Tollgate Road (open Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.)