The Christmas tree is such a central image of the holiday season, but after Jan. 1, the clock is ticking for how long you keep it in your house. Fortunately, Northern Virginia counties are here to help not only remove the trees, but to make sure they stay green by recycling them. From Alexandria to Fredericksburg, here is what you need to do to recycle your Christmas tree.
After removing all the ornaments, lights, nails or any other decorations, Alexandria residents with trash service can place their trees at the curb (no alleys) during their regular waste collection point on the regular trash collection days by 7 a.m. Trees collected during the first two Saturdays of January will be ground into mulch and made available to residents in the spring. Do not put trees in plastic bags.
Placed out at the curbside of residential homes by 6 a.m. on regular trash collection days, sans all decorations, Christmas trees will be picked up the first full two weeks of January to be made into mulch for garden use. Residents without curbside recycling services may bring their Christmas trees to the Solid Waste Bureau during the first two weeks of January. Appointments need to be made with the Solid Waste Bureau from Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., as well as providing proof of residence in Arlington. After Jan. 13, prepare the tree for yard waste collection on regular trash collection days.
Trees can be collected free of charge from residents’ curbs on Wednesdays in January and February, save for City-observed holidays. For the speediest collection, it is best to do it during the first two weeks of January. For residents living in apartments or condos that have private trash and recycling services, they can recycle trees at the brush collection area of the Fairfax County Citizens’ Disposal and Recycling Facility at 4618 W. Ox Road, Fairfax.
For those with county trash service, trees can be placed on the curb during trash day for the first two weeks of January. After the first two weeks, Christmas trees will only be removed by scheduling a brush pickup. If you have a private trash service, contact the company for specific instructions. Trees can also be dropped off at either the Interstate 66 Transfer Station or the Interstate 95 Landfill Complex throughout the first two weeks of January for a processing fee of $1 per tree.
The Public Works Department of Fredericksburg will handle the collection of Christmas trees and other special bulk items during the second week of January. For this pickup, Christmas trees should be placed at the curb by 7:30 a.m. on that Monday, Jan. 7. Christmas trees will not be picked up with regular trash service.
CSI Disposal will be the team behind Christmas tree recycling in Leesburg, covering the SE/SW (including S. King Street & W. Market Street) on Jan. 7 and 14, and the NE/NW (including N. King Street) on Jan. 8 and 15. Following CSI’s collection, Leesburg’ Street Division may collect trees. Trees with trunk sizes less than 6-inches in diameter can be set out on Monday night for pickup during regular brush collection schedules.
Loudoun County does not offer trash or recycling collection services, so people should consult with their homeowners association, town office or private waste collector for curbside Christmas tree recycling. Alternatively, from Dec. 26-Jan. 20, trees can be dropped off at one of five locations that will process the tress into mulch and made available for free to Loudoun residents. The locations are:
Loudoun County Landfill Recycling Dropoff Center
21101 Evergreen Mills Road, Leesburg; Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Game Protective Association
16 S. Berlin Pike, Lovettsville; open daily
17501 Franklin Park Drive, Purcellville; open daily 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Claude Moore Park
46150 Loudoun Park Lane, Sterling; open daily, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
South Riding Town Hall
43055 Center St., South Riding; open daily
Once the Christmas tree has been turned back into a regular tree, people can recycle it at any of the following locations:
Prince William County Landfill
14811 Dumfries Road, Manassas; Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed New Year’s Day)
Balls Ford Road Compost Facility
13000 Balls Ford Road, Manassas; Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed New Year’s Day)
Leesylvania State Park
2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge; drop off at Shelter #2
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative
5399 Wellington Branch Road, Gainesville; Dec. 26-Jan. 7
Trees deposited at Leesylvania State Park will be used for wildlife and aquatic habitats. Trees dropped off at NOVEC will be made into wood chip mulch and can be delivered to interested customers at no charge.