Governments begin Christmas tree disposal, recycling

In many cases, residents can get mulch

December 26, 2013|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

Sick of the holidays? Santa didn't bring what you wanted? Or maybe you are just looking to spruce up the garden? Send your Christmas tree to the wood chipper.

Christmas tree disposal began as early as Thursday and continues into January around the region. Residents are asked to remove all decorations, ornament hooks and other trimmings before disposing of trees.

In some cases, the trees can be chipped into mulch that, come spring, can help green flower beds at government buildings or even residents' homes.

In Baltimore, trees will be picked up on regular trash collection days starting Jan. 7, Department of Public Works spokesman Jeff Raymond said. Residents who want their trees mulched can bring them to the Reedbird Avenue Citizen Convenience Center every Friday and Saturday in January between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and take the mulch home, he said.

Baltimore County curbside pickup doesn't begin until Jan. 13, and residents are asked to put their trees out by Jan. 18 to ensure they all get picked up over a two-week period. But for those eager to move on from Christmas sooner, tree drop-off at county landfills in White Marsh, Cockeysville and Halethorpe began Thursday.

In Anne Arundel County, Christmas trees as well as wreaths and garlands can be disposed of along with regular yard waste, picked up year-round. Trees can also be brought to any of the county's recycling centers.

Howard County's "Merry Mulch" Christmas tree recycling program runs Jan. 2-17. Residents can drop off trees seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight locations around the county. A list of locations can be found at

Howard residents with curbside yard trim collection may also set their Christmas trees out on those collection days. Trees will not be picked up on trash collection days during this time for residents with yard trim collection.

Harford County's tree recycling program, which has chipped more than 90,000 trees since 1989, lets county residents visit the Harford Waste Disposal Center in Street year-round for three free bags of mulch. Trees can be dropped off at the center from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday or at the county's waste center at 703 N. Tollgate Road in Bel Air from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

In Carroll County, Westminster residents can drop trees off at a designated Dumpster at Tuc Road and Locust Street. Otherwise, trees are collected every other Monday according to bulk trash schedules. The program produces 200 tons of mulch each year used in city flower beds and parks, according to the city.

Baltimore Sun Media Group reporter Amanda Yeager contributed to this article.

Trees to mulch

•Anne Arundel County: Put trees at the curbside with regular yard waste pickup.

•Baltimore City: Drop off trees at the Reedbird Avenue Citizen Convenience Center any Friday or Saturday in January. (Trees left curbside will end up in landfills.)

•Baltimore County: Leave trees at the curb from Jan. 13-18, or take them to a county landfill.

•Harford County: Drop trees at one of two county waste centers.

•Howard County: Drop trees at one of eight locations or wait for yard trim collection.

•Westminster: Leave trees in designated Dumpster or curbside with bulk trash, collected every other Monday.

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