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Calendar >  I Live A Clean San Diego – Recycle Real Christmas Trees In County

I Live A Clean San Diego – Recycle Real Christmas Trees In County

By   /  December 22, 2022  /  No Comments

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How and Where to Recycle Real Christmas Trees in San Diego County

The 2022 Christmas Tree Recycling Guide lists drop-off locations and instructions for curbside pickup for all San Diego County residents

San Diego, CA December, 2022) – Properly recycling trees returns them back to the earth as mulch or through composting, which provides valuable nutrients to the soil, reduces landfill space and greenhouse gas emissions.

The County of San Diego and I Love A Clean San Diego make it easy for residents to recycle their real Christmas trees by compiling a list of drop-off locations and instructions for curbside pick-up. The countywide recycling resource, WasteFreeSD.org, hosts the 2022 Christmas Tree Recycling Guide with listings for curbside and drop-off locations.

According to the EPA, organic materials like Christmas trees, food, and yard waste are the number one material sent to landfills, composing two-thirds of the solid waste stream.  In California, state law (SB 1383) is here to change that.  It requires the recycling of Christmas trees as well as other organic waste: food scraps, food-soiled paper, yard trimmings and non-hazardous wood waste (i.e. lumber, pallets, etc.). To learn more, contact your local city, county, and/or waste and recycling hauler about organic waste recycling in your area.

Follow some simple tips to ensure they can be recycled.

Christmas Tree Recycling Tips

  • Do not flock or purchase flocked trees. Fake snow (flock) contains chemicals that interfere with the composting process
  • If you choose to use tinsel, it must be completely removed (and placed in the trash) from your tree before it can be recycled. Best option, do purchase tinsel. It is a wasteful single-use plastic.
  • Make sure to remove all ornaments, garland, lights, nails, tree bags, and tree stands (metal or plastic) before recycling.
  • For areas where curbside tree recycling is available, trees taller than four feet should be cut in half.
  • Reuse or donate artificial trees that are in good condition.
  • Do not let real trees sit around too long after the holidays. They can dry out and become fire hazards.
  • Natural wreaths and similar decorations can be recycled with trees.

How to Compost Your Christmas Tree

Many local waste haulers offer curbside pick-up of Christmas trees and wreaths, in addition to dozens of community drop-off sites. Collected Christmas trees are mulched or composted, which is then used to improve soil health at public parks, local farms, and home landscapes and gardens. Visit WasteFreeSD.org for a list of drop-off locations and communities with curbside pickup.

  • Bonsall
  • Carlsbad
  • City of San Diego
  • Coronado
  • Del Mar
  • El Cajon
  • Escondido
  • Imperial Beach
  • La Mesa
  • Lemon Grove
  • National City
  • Oceanside
  • Ramona
  • San Marcos
  • San Pasqual Valley
    Santee
  • Solana Beach
  • Valley Center
  • Vista

About I Love A Clean San Diego … Founded in 1954, I Love A Clean San Diego is an environmental nonprofit supporting residents and businesses of San Diego County through youth and adult education, and local action through impactful volunteer events and workshops. For more information, or to volunteer, visit CleanSD.org or call (619) 291-0103. 

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