When the holidays come to an end, there’s usually one problem that starts to pile up—trash.
Aside from the bundles of wrapping paper, broken-down cardboard boxes and discarded dinner party necessities, your Christmas tree is yet another thing that needs to be disposed.
Luckily, Northern Virginia has options for curbside removal, tree recycling and more. For more information on your location, visit the county websites below.
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Residents who receive city trash service must place their trees on the curb (no alleys) by Saturday, Jan. 11 or Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 a.m., to be picked up for recycling purposes in the City of Alexandria. Trees picked up during this period will be turned into next spring’s mulch, where residents can come on a first-come, first-served basis to collect free mulch for their yards or property. Mulch delivery is available for an additional fee. Trees set on the curb after Jan. 18 will be collected as regular refuse. Make sure to remove all ornaments, tinsel and tree stands, and do not place the tree in any sort of plastic bag (which can contaminate the mulch).
Residents don’t even have to leave their homes to recycle their discarded Christmas trees in Arlington, since the county is offering free pickup on Monday through Friday trash days, from Monday, Dec. 30 to Friday, Jan. 10. Be sure to place your trees at the curb where your trash cans are located by 6 a.m., with all decorations, nails, stands and plastic bags removed. Want to keep your tree longer than Jan. 10? Christmas trees are also a part of the year-round yard waste collection, which means they’ll be turned into mulch after being picked up with other leaves, yard waste and more. Trees over 8 feet long must be dismantled for this service.
If you’re an Arlington resident without curbside pickup (living in a townhouse, apartment or condominium), you can bring your tree to the Solid Waste Bureau’s Earth Products Yard in Shirlington. You can make an appointment to ensure safe drop off Monday through Friday, and you must show proof of Arlington residence. // Solid Waste Bureau’s Earth Products Yard: 4300 29th St. S., Arlington
Due to the holidays being in the middle of the week this year (Christmas is on Wednesday, as well as New Year’s Day), trash service in Falls Church will be suspended on both days and delayed to Saturday, Dec. 28 and Saturday, Jan. 4. Christmas trees will be collected free of charge on Wednesdays in January and February, but placing your trees at the curb in the first two weeks of January will ensure it is collected promptly and disposed of.
Make sure to remove all plastic bags, ropes and decorations, including tinsel. Residents who live in apartments, townhouses or condominiums may recycle trees by taking them to the brush collection area at the Fairfax County Citizens Disposal and Recycling Facility. // Fairfax County Citizens Disposal and Recycling Facility: 4618 West Ox Road, Fairfax
Fairfax residents with curbside pickup can place their trees on the curb (where your trash cans would be located) during the first two weeks in January. After that, you must schedule a brush pickup to have your Christmas tree removed and disposed of.
To recycle your Christmas tree in Fairfax, residents can drop off their trees at the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex. There is a $1 fee to recycle your tree. All ornaments, decorations (including tinsel) and stands must be removed prior. // I-66 Transfer Station: 4618 W. Ox Road, Fairfax; I-95 Landfill Complex: 9850 Furnace Road, Lorton
For curbside Christmas tree recycling in Loudoun County, residents should contact their homeowners association, town office or private water collection service for more information on what the guidelines are for this year.
If residents would like to take recycling matters into their own hands, Christmas trees can be recycled into mulch (available to Loudoun County residents for free) in Leesburg, Lovettsville, Purcellville, Sterling and South Riding. All Christmas trees should have decorations removed prior to disposal or recycling. These services are for Loudoun County residents only. // Loudoun County Landfill Recycling Dropoff Center: 21101 Evergreen Mills Road, Leesburg; Game Protective Association: 16 S. Berlin Pike, Lovettsville; Franklin Park: 17501 Franklin Park Drive, Purcellville; Claude Moore Park: 46150 Loudoun Park Lane, Sterling; Town Hall: 43066 Center St., South Riding
After removing all decorations from your family’s Christmas tree, there are several drop-off locations for it in Prince William County (curbside pickup is not available). Visit the Prince William County Landfill, the Balls Ford Road Compost Facility, Leesylvania State Park or Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative. Times vary at each location, and the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative will offer mulch to residents free of charge with delivery. // Prince William County Landfill: 14811 Dumfries Road, Manassas; Balls Ford Road Yard Waste Compost Facility: 13000 Balls Ford Road, Manassas; Leesylvania State Park: 2001 Daniel K Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge; Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative: 10323 Lomond Drive, Manassas