Your once-glorious Christmas tree, covered in sparkling lights and ornaments, is likely fading, beginning to brown and bald, and littering your floor with needles.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to the symbol of holiday cheer, and putting it out on the street curb is not only wasteful, but a rotting reminder of the good times that have passed. But there are some unusual ways to repurpose or recycle your Christmas tree, including feeding it to adorable goats or using it to restore the sand dunes at the New Jersey Shore.
While most municipalities will pick up your tree with your trash, here are some places you can take it if you’re interested in tree-cycling.
Furry friends at the Philly Goat Project are ready to munch on your holiday leftovers. The community-based program, located at Awbury Agricultural Village, 6336 Ardleigh St., is hosting tree-cycling on Jan. 11, 18, and 25 from noon to 3 p.m.
Take your undecorated tree to the farm and watch the beasts chow down. It’s free, but a $20 tax-deductible donation is suggested, and you can enjoy some hot chocolate or roast marshmallows.
If you can’t make it to Awbury’s goats, see if other farmers would want the tree for their animals.
Island Beach State Park in Ocean County will accept Christmas trees on Jan. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the A23 parking lot.
The Barnegat Peninsula barrier islands, made up of dense maritime forests, rolling sand dunes, and tidal marshes, are important natural defenses to storms and habitats to hundreds of species.
The timber will be used to line the sand dunes and prevent erosion, which has become more common as development along beaches increases.
Students of the nonprofit GreenAllies organization will accept Christmas trees at the Althouse Arboretum in Pottstown on Jan. 11 and 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The trees will be chipped and used to cover the arboretum’s walking trails.
Philadelphia offers 13 locations for free tree drop-off on Jan. 11 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Neighborhood associations also often offer donation locations.
Too busy to deliver it yourself? Circle Compost and South Philly Green will offer tree pickup at a cost and make sure the tree is repurposed.
Circle Compost will pick it up curbside during the weekends of Jan. 4 and 11 for $20 and turn it into compost and wood chips for its urban farms around the city.