The holiday season is always a blast from setting up your decorations to indulging yourself to Christmas presents and treats. Each home is different in how they set up decorations and have their own traditions, but one of the main household centerpieces during Christmas is the Christmas tree! It’s the place where the magic happens for kids when they find the presents that Santa had left for them. If they still believe in that. Even if they don’t, it’s always nice to give and the Christmas tree, no matter how big or small, is the place to be. It’s decorated with numerous lights and ornaments, and most importantly the star on top. Christmas doesn’t last forever and neither does the spirit until it comes again next year, so all the decorations have to be put away. But what about the Christmas tree? There are many things that people do with it such as throwing it away or even donating it. What you do with it is up to you, but at least know how to properly dispose of it when making your decision.

The first question to ask is your Christmas tree real or artificial? From there, you can see the options below on how to dispose of it. Before doing any of these, be sure to remove all ornaments and decorations!


Real Christmas Trees

Pick Up Service
Christmas trees can be easily disposed of just by leaving them on your curb! Philadelphia does allow you to leave your tree outside, and will be taken as if it were regular waste. Some cities recycle it by breaking them down to be used as mulch. Be sure to check if your city and if they do the same! If not, there are other organizations and third-party pick up services that can take care of it for you. If leaving it on your curb isn’t an option for you, there are many free and local drop-off recycling centers that can take care of it as well.

Believe it or not, some places accept real trees as a donation! Trees can be donated to zoos and even farms for them to be used by animals as food or playthings.

If you have a lot of extra space, moving your Christmas tree outdoors is a great way to build an environment for smaller animals to take shelter in. If there’s a small body of water close by, you can leave it in there to protect the land from erosion and create a habitat for fish. Using the Christmas tree in your chimney, firepit, or bonfire works great too! Make sure that it is dry enough though, because tree sap can cause fires in your chimney.


Artificial Christmas Trees

Pick Up Service
Similar to a real Christmas tree, artificial ones can also be left on the curb to be picked up or be sent to a drop-off center. It can only be thrown in the trash as waste and unfortunately cannot be recycled.

Christmas trees can be donated to many locations that will gladly accept it and be used in other ways. Many nonprofits and thrift stores accept them, but so do larger organizations like hospitals and retirement homes! Call the organizations around you to find out.

Repurpose and Reuse
Reusing them each year until they are completely worn out saves you a lot of time and money. That is the sole purpose of having artificial trees. Even if they do start to dwindle, it’s okay because the various parts of the trees can be remade into smaller items such as a centerpiece or a wreath.

Hope these options come to mind when the Christmas season ends and it’s time to pack up the decorations. But until then, wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New year!