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'Tis the Season to Tree-Cycle

Each year about 25 – 30 million real Christmas trees are sold across the U.S. during the holiday season. As important as these trees are to our holiday traditions, they play an even bigger role once the festivities are over. Real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource.

Most trees can be chipped and turned into mulch if the right steps are taken during the first weeks after the holidays. Christmas “tree-cycling” requirements are different for each city and hauler—including when the pick-up begins and how long it’s available

Here are some tips to ensure your tree is repurposed the best way possible in your area:

  1. Check ahead with your hauler to find out their schedule for picking up Christmas trees. Missing the last pick-up day means finding another alternative. It is often done on the same as the weekly curbside trash pick-up. You can find OC waste hauler information here.
  2. Find out any special requirements from your waste hauler. Sometimes taller trees must be cut in half before pick-up or even cut into pieces and placed in the greenwaste bin.
  3.  Only the tree is recyclable. Remove all decorations, including lights, tinsel, garland, tree stands and ornaments
  4. Flocked trees cannot be recycled. They may be cut down and placed in your regular trash bin.
  5. If you miss the tree recycling dates of your hauler, check with your city Recycling Coordinator for other options.
  6. If you have Christmas lights or other e-waste to dispose of after the holidays, take it to one of Orange County’s four Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers. They’re open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find locations and other information here.

More information is available at or 714-834-4000.