HAMPTON ROADS — Locals who are looking for ways to recycle or reuse their live Christmas trees from this holiday season have many different options.
“Many localities collect and chip the trees into mulch or compost that are used to beautify city and county public spaces,” said Rebekah Eastep, a team leader with the AskHRgreen.org Public Awareness and Education campaign. “Recycling or reusing your Christmas tree keeps it out of the landfill and helps you give back to your community.”
Christmas tree recycling will begin in some localities this week at curbside pick-up or drop-off locations throughout Hampton Roads.
AskHRgreen.org, an organization focused on local environmental issues within the Hampton Roads area, has provided a list of localities and recommended instructions as to how to recycle trees within each municipality.
For a full list of localities across Hampton Roads, locals can go to AskHRgreen’s Christmas Tree Recycling and Disposal Guide.
- James City County:
When: Dec. 28-Jan. 30
Where: Trees can be dropped off at any of the County’s three convenience centers free of charge during normal operating hours. Locations and operating hours listed here.
What to know: Remove all tinsel, ornaments, lights and stands or tree will not be accepted. Trees will be mulched or composted.
When: Jan. 4-Jan. 11
Where: Curbside on regularly scheduled trash day.
What to know: Trees must be free of tinsel, lights, and ornaments. Trees must be placed curbside before 7 am on these dates to ensure collection.
- York County:
When: Jan. 10 – 14
Where: Curbside or a designated drop-off site within the community where residents can bring their trees (with homeowner’s association (HOA) or community management approval). The designated site needs to be in a location with access to the large knuckle boom truck used for collections.
All York County residents may deliver their Christmas trees to the The Virginia Peninsulas Public Service Authority (VPPSA) Compost Facility Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well.
What to know: York County’s free curbside collection of Christmas trees is January 10-14. Trees must be placed at the roadside by 7 a.m. on Monday (January 10) for collection during the week.
Residents must place their tree at curbside by 7 a.m. on Monday (January 10) for collection during the week. Trees should be free of all lights, tinsel, ornaments, tree stand and should not be placed inside a tree bag. Trees larger than 6′ should be cut in half. Trees will be composted.
This program is available to all County communities, including those that do not subscribe to the County’s regular curbside collection. To participate, these communities must receive approval from their homeowners association or community management group, and trees should be delivered to a designated neighborhood drop-off site in a location accessible by our large knuckle boom trucks.
When: Now through Jan. 31
Where: Residents may place Christmas trees in the brush container at any of the five Gloucester County Convenience Centers.
What to know: Place in mulch container. Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Trees will be mulched for use as cost-saving landfill cover.
When: Dec. 25–Jan. 21
Where: Residents can drop off natural trees at the Municipal Pool Parking Lot (18 Municipal Drive)
What to know: Tree should be free of ALL decorations including stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Trees will be composted.
Locals who are looking to reuse their Christmas trees have a couple of options as well. Eastep provides the following suggestions:
- Mulch Garden beds – Cutting off the boughs and branches then draping them over plant beds for winter protection.
- Starting a fire – Chop the trunk into small pieces to use in your backyard fire pit. Make sure to check your municipality’s ordinances regarding backyard fire pits in advance.
- Sheltering animals – Place the tree in a quiet part of your yard as a haven for wintering birds and woodland creatures.
- DIY projects – Slice the trunk into disks to use for coasters or other craft projects
For more information on recycling in the Hampton Roads area, locals can visit AskHRgreen.org.