Recycle your Christmas tree into goat food or wood chips for playgrounds at these local orgs
Feed it to some goats, help restore the Shore, and other ways to recycle your holiday tree.
Your once-glorious live Christmas tree is likely starting to lose its magic. While still covered in sparkling lights and ornaments, the beginnings of brown and bald spots may be appearing. Your floor is filled with needles. And you know it’s time to say goodbye.
Tossing your tree — the last symbol of holiday cheer — is never an easy or fun task. But you can make it a tradition that benefits others, and in return, perhaps brings you a little post-holiday joy. How? Repurpose or recycle your tree.
While most municipalities will pick up your tree with your curbside trash, including Philadelphia, there are ways to put it to better use, including feeding it to goats and helping preserve Jersey Shore parks. Here’s where to recycle your tree in the area.
Philly Goat Project Tree-cycling
Furry friends at the Philly Goat Project are ready to munch on your holiday leftovers. The community-based program is hosting tree-cycling on Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Farm at Awbury Arboretum. A third event will be held on Jan. 20 from noon to 2 p.m. at Laurel Hill West (225 Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd PA).
It’s not just a tree drop-off either. Get cozy by the fire pit with free hot cocoa and goat cuddles — awesome for the whole family. There is a suggested donation of $20 per tree. All proceeds support the Philly Goat Project’s free year-round programming, like goat walks and children’s literacy events. PGP can provide a tax receipt.
Ocean County Christmas tree recycling
Recycle your Christmas tree at one of 17 locations throughout Ocean County through Jan. 31. Locations can be found here. Your tree will get turned into woodchips and used for landscaping projects at park facilities. Recycled trees have also been used to help replenish the dunes in the area. The timber is used to line the sand dunes and prevent erosion, which has become more common as development along beaches increases. Drop-off times are Monday-Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Althouse Arboretum Christmas tree recycling
Student volunteers of the nonprofit GreenAllies are taking Christmas trees at the Althouse Arboretum in Pottstown on Jan. 6 and 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Trees are chipped and used to cover the arboretum’s walking trails. This is a drive-through event, and drop-off is free. Students will take the tree off your car, so no need to even get out. Cash donations are accepted.
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City of Philadelphia Christmas tree drop-off
For the 35th year, Streets Department will be accepting Christmas trees for recycling for two weeks from Tuesday, Jan. 2, through Saturday, Jan. 13, at no cost. There are two types of drop-off locations. All trees should be untied and free of all decorations, lights, and ornaments.
Drop off trees at any Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Center, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
3033 South 63rd St.
Domino Lane and Umbria St.
State Road and Ashburner St.
2601 W. Glenwood Ave.
5100 Grays Ave.
3901 Delaware Ave.
Drop off trees at pop-up Christmas tree-cycling sites only on Saturday, Jan. 6, and Saturday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Broad & Christian St. [map]
54th St. & Woodbine Ave. [map]
1400 Cottman Ave. (Jardel Recreation) [map]
Corinthian Ave. & Poplar St. [map]
American St. & Thompson St. [map]
Cathedral Rd. & Ridge Ave. [map]
15th St. & Bigler St. [map]
4800 Wayne Ave. (Happy Hollow Recreation) [map]
7901 Ridgeway St. (Fox Chase Recreation) [map]
43rd St. & Powelton Ave. [map]
Castor Ave. & Foulkrod St. [map]
Graver Ln. & Seminole St. [map]
Washington Ln. & Ardleigh St. [map]
Philadelphia neighborhood Christmas tree recycling
Neighborhood associations and community groups host tree-cycling events throughout Philadelphia, including:
Lower Moyamensing Civic Association is accepting trees on Jan. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Jan. 7 from noon to 3 p.m. at South Philly High School, 2101 S. Broad St. A $5 donation is required per tree. Wood chips will be available to those who want them for their garden on Jan. 7.
Passyunk Square Civic Association is accepting trees on Jan. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Columbus Square Park (corner of 13th St. and Wharton St.) for a $5 donation.
South Philly Green is accepting trees at two locations again this season: Guerin Recreation Center at 16th & Wolf Streets on Saturday, Dec. 30 from noon-3 p.m. and Manton Green at 17th and Manton Streets on Saturday, Jan. 6 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. A $5 donation is suggested for tree drop-offs. They’ll also be offering curbside tree pickups ($15 donation) for properties in zip codes 19145 and 19146, email email@example.com for more details. Trees must be free of lights and decorations. All proceeds benefit South Philly Green, East Point Breeze Neighbors, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
Christmas tree recycling curbside pickup
Too busy to deliver your tree yourself?
Circle Compost offers $20 curbside pickup on the weekends for the following dates: Dec. 30-31, Jan. 6-7, and Jan. 13-14. Sign up online, and put your tree outside your house on the Friday night (by midnight) of your pickup weekend. Maximum tree height allowed is 14 feet. Trees are turned into wood chips to be used as mulch or compost for Philly’s nonprofit urban farms. Questions? Call 267-388-1493 or visit circlecompost.com. To sign up for pick-up, visit accounts.circlecompost.com/shop/christmas-tree
Bennett Compost will pick up your tree on the weekends of Dec. 30-31, Jan. 6-7, Jan. 13-14, and Jan. 20-21., for a fee of $20. Sign up online. All trees picked up are recycled into compost for gardens. Questions? Call 215-520-2406 or visit bennettcompost.com. To sign up for pick-up, visit bennettcompost.com/xmas-composting.
This article has been updated since it first published. Grace Dickinson and Steven White contributed to this article.