How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Your holiday candy is gone, your Christmas lights are down, and you are making plans for the New Year. But there’s one item left on your to-do list: you still need to get rid of your Christmas tree.
Disposing of a Christmas tree can be frustrating. It seems wasteful to throw it away, but there aren’t always a lot of obvious options to recycle it responsibly either.
The good news is that there are several creative ways you can put your old Christmas tree to use after the holidays. From fish food to firewood, check out some options for Christmas tree junk removal below:

How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Recycle at the Curb or at a Center: If you can fit your tree into your green compost roll cart, you can have it picked up curbside. If your tree is too big and you don’t want to cut it up, you can also leave it at the curb, though you will be charged an extra $5. If neither of these options sound good to you, you can also drop it off at a recycling center. You can find the one closest to your home on the Oregon Metro website.
Turn Your Tree into Fish Food: Surprisingly, old Christmas trees make a great habitat and feeding ground for fish. In fact, trees do a great job of attracting algae for fish to eat, and will naturally decompose in the water over time. However, you should make sure that your tree hasn’t been treated with any chemicals that could be dangerous to fish. Also, only dump your tree into your own pond, or at least get permission from the pond owner first!
Use Your Tree as a Bird Feeder: Are you having trouble finding a good tree-dumping pond? Turn your old Christmas tree into a bird feeder instead. Make sure all of your decorations are removed first (you don’t want to accidentally hook a bird with an ornament)! Then bring it out to your backyard, and set it up with stringed popcorn or a bird feeder. Your tree will dry out naturally, and you should be able to dispose of it by hand after a few months.
Make Firewood: If you enjoy having fires, you can always chop up your tree and use it as firewood. You’ll probably have to wait a few months for the wood to dry enough for burning, but this can be a great way to make good use of your old tree. One thing to note here: evergreen wood smoke produces massive amounts of creosote, a toxic tar-like chemical. With this in mind, you should only use your Christmas tree firewood outdoors.
Use Your Tree as a Natural Barrier: Old Christmas trees can be a great way to help slow down erosion in certain areas. They’re especially useful around lake shorelines or some of the hiking trails around the Portland area. If you have an area on your property where you’re worried about erosion, use your Christmas tree to stabilize the soil.
Make Your Tree into Mulch: Do you have a wood chipper, or know a friend who has one? If so, another great option to dispose of your Christmas tree is to chip it into mulch. Evergreen mulch is useful for growing all kinds of plants, and is well suited to keep other trees warm.
Still not sold on any of these options? G.I. Junk can help! If you book any of our junk removal services between Christmas and January 15th, we’ll haul your tree away for free.
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