About Metro    Metro Council    Councilor Kathryn Harrington

January 3, 2013  2:36 PM

Christmas tree recycling: Where does the tree go after you take it down? Ask Metro.


TreeOnce you’ve taken down the lights, packed up the ornaments and swept up all the tinsel, what do you do with the tree? It’s easy to recycle at the curb with your yard debris, or through a local nonprofit. Metro can tell you how.

Recycle your tree with your curbside yard debris collection service

Residents with curbside yard debris collection programs can recycle their trees at the curb. Tree preparation requirements and fees vary throughout the region. For details, call your local solid waste and recycling office, Metro Recycling Information at 503-234-3000, or your garbage hauler.

Find a full list of the region’s curbside recycling resources

Support a nonprofit fundraiser

Many nonprofit organizations offer pickup services or drop-off locations where you can take Christmas trees and wreaths to be recycled. They provide this service to help communities, and to raise money for other worthwhile projects, charging a small fee or requesting a donation. When these groups have ended their tree recycling projects, you can either take your tree to a yard debris processing facility or use curbside service.

Find a Christmas tree recycler using Metro’s Find a Recycler web tool

Prepping your tree for recycling

Remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands and other materials that are not part of the original tree. Most trees are ground up as part of the recycling process; foreign material can ruin a chipping machine. Also, nonorganic materials aren't good for a compost mixture. Some groups or businesses do not accept flocked trees.

Christmas wreaths and swags can be recycled with trees. Most recyclers ask that all frames and wire be removed.

For more information about Christmas tree recycling, call Metro’s recycling hotline at 503-234-3000.

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