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Christmas Tree Recycling: Organizing Bulk Orders and Giving Back in Treecember

‘Tis the season to talk about Christmas tree recycling! Whether you have one tree for recycling or are looking for bulk waste options for your business, once it’s time to close out the holiday season, you might be looking for locations for tree disposal.

While it might seem easier to send the trees out with the garbage, there are many reasons to consider Christmas tree recycling instead, including giving back to the planet one tree at a time through our Treecember campaign! At CheckSammy, we are giving the gift of sustainability this festive season.

3 Reasons to Recycle Your Trees This Holiday Season

Here are three of the biggest reasons to consider Christmas tree recycling for your property or business this season.

1. Helps You Avoid Unnecessary Garbage Fees

From a purely pragmatic perspective, garbage overage disposal fees are wildly expensive. Christmas tree recycling helps keep the trees out of the waste stream and eliminates needless overage fees.

2. It’s Better for The Environment

Every 1.2 seconds, we destroy an area of the forest equal to the size of a football field. In fact, deforestation destroyed 46% of the world’s forests already. These figures are devastating because trees clean our air and water, create habitats for biodiversity, contribute to our health and well-being, and create jobs for social impact.

Yet, 25-30 million Christmas trees are cut down and sold each year in the U.S. Unfortunately, most are tossed in the garbage and rotted in our landfills. Sending Christmas trees to landfills contributes to the growing issue with landfill volumes.

And while natural trees are biodegradable, it takes them a while to break down – 200 to 300 years to be exact. During this 200–300-year period, the trees occupy valuable landfill space. They’re also producing methane gas at a much higher rate than regular trash, which can accelerate leachate and contaminate groundwater.

So, choosing to recycle holiday trees is an environmentally conscious choice.

3. Take Part in CheckSammy’s Treecember Campaign

Avoiding garbage overage fees and helping the environment are two significant benefits to Christmas tree recycling, but we’re sweetening the pot this year with our Treecember campaign.

This holiday season, we’re thrilled to partner with One Tree Planted (@onetreeplanted) to plant a tree for every order made at CheckSammy in December!

When you recycle Christmas trees with us, you’re helping the environment in two ways: by disposing of the trees properly and by helping us plant new ones in their place.

It’s worth noting that the Treecember campaign isn’t just for Christmas tree recycling. We’re planting a tree for every order this season – no matter what CheckSammy service you order.

So, what does Christmas tree recycling entail? How can you set up a bulk Christmas tree recycling program for your multi-family property or business? Here’s everything you need to know about recycling your Christmas trees this holiday season.

How to Recycle Christmas Trees

A plan of action is crucial when you need to recycle a lot of Christmas trees. You can partner with a local nonprofit or set up waste containers to collect the trees, chop them, and recycle them throughout your county.

Alternatively, you can partner with a sustainable junk removal company, like CheckSammy, to organize a Christmas tree removal day.

When you partner with CheckSammy for Christmas tree recycling:

  • We create a custom Christmas tree pick-up location plan for your facility.
  • Then, we pick up the undecorated trees on the designated collection day.
  • Finally, we haul trees directly to composting facilities to create mulch or deliver them to a group, reusing them for habitats or dune rebuilding.

And that’s it. You get to recycle Christmas trees for your whole property, business, or community with little to no hassle for you.

Best Practices for Christmas Tree Recycling

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to recycling Christmas trees:

Christmas tree recycling is essential to responsible waste management during the holiday season. Adopting best practices ensures the disposal of trees in an environmentally friendly manner. Here are some recommended best practices for Christmas tree recycling:

  1. Remove Decorations Thoroughly: A decked-out Christmas tree contains ornaments of all sizes, but before recycling your Christmas tree, remove all decorations, lights, tinsel, and any other non-biodegradable items. These materials can contaminate the recycling process and hinder the tree’s transformation into valuable products like friendly pine mulch or compost.
  2. Avoid Chemical Sprays: If you have a flocked tree or used chemical treatments, it might not be recyclable anymore.
  3. Establish Local Recycling Programs: Many communities have designated Christmas tree recycling programs. Check with your local waste management or public works department to learn about specific guidelines and drop-off locations. Some areas offer curbside pickup, while others may have designated collection points.
  4. Avoid Artificial Trees in Recycling Bins: Artificial trees are unsuitable for traditional recycling programs. If you have an artificial tree you no longer need, consider donating it to a local charity or passing it on to someone who can reuse it.
  5. Coordinate Community Drop-Off Events: Encourage and participate in community-based Christmas tree drop-off events. Provide centralized drop-off locations and guidelines for residents to drop off their trees. 
  6. Educate the Community: Promote awareness about the importance of Christmas tree recycling within your community. Share information through local newsletters, community websites, or social media platforms to ensure that residents are informed about the available recycling options.
  7. Consider Tree-Cycling Events: Organize or participate in tree-cycling events where partners recycle trees for community projects like erosion control, wildlife habitats, or park enhancements. These events foster a sense of community involvement and environmental stewardship.

By adhering to these best practices, individuals and communities can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to Christmas tree disposal, minimizing waste and maximizing the ecological benefits of recycling.

Remember Other Christmas Plants: Other plant-based items, like wreaths, poinsettias, and garlands, are also recyclable.

Whether you’re recycling Christmas trees yourself or working with a junk removal partner, you’ll want to educate your tenants about these best practices ahead of time.


Christmas Tree Recycling: What Happens to the Trees?

Holiday trees can be repurposed in various environmentally friendly ways, promoting sustainability and reducing waste. Here are several creative ways to recycle holiday trees:

  1. Mulch Material: Recycling centers can turn trees into nutrient-rich mulch. Many tree recycling programs cut the trees and use the resulting wood chips for parks and gardens. This process not only recycles the tree but also provides a valuable resource for landscaping.
  2. Erosion Control: In coastal areas, old holiday trees can be used to combat beach erosion. By strategically placing trees along the shore, these trees can help trap sand and rebuild dunes, providing a natural barrier against erosion.
  3. Wildlife Habitat: Recycled holiday trees can create habitats for wildlife. Trees can be bundled together and sunk into lakes or ponds to create fish habitats. Similarly, trees can shelter birds and small mammals in natural areas.
  4. Composting: Composted holiday trees create nutrient-rich soil for gardens. Shredded tree branches and needles add valuable organic matter to compost piles, contributing to the overall health of the compost.
  5. DIY Crafts: For those with a creative flair, repurposing freshly-cut trees into DIY crafts is an enjoyable option. The dried tree branches can make wreaths, decorative arrangements, or even homemade potpourri. This practice not only recycles the tree but also adds a personal touch to your home decor.
  6. Community Gardens:  Trees can be used as fencing or trellises, supporting climbing plants and vegetables. The variety of uses means that community gardens accept holiday trees as donations.

When to Recycle Christmas Trees

When should you schedule a bulk pick-up for your multi-family facility or town? It depends on who you ask.

Certain religions recommend keeping the tree up until January 7. While many people believe the twelve days of Christmas refer to the twelve days preceding Christmas, they begin on December 25. This period ends twelve days later, on January 6, aka “The Epiphany.” In this tradition, you don’t take down trees until after the twelve drummers drumming.

If you ask the garden experts, it’s all about when your tree dries out. Christmas trees typically become a fire hazard between three and five weeks, so residents should recycle their Christmas trees before then.

If you dutifully water your tree, it might last up to six weeks. However, once the needles turn brown or yellow, it’s time to toss out the tree.

When it comes to picking a date for your bulk Christmas tree recycling pick-up, you’ll want to keep the above things in mind.

An Extra Reason to Recycle Christmas Trees This Holiday Season

We’re proud to offer sustainable and customized bulk Christmas tree recycling. We work with you to create a Christmas tree recycling program that works best for your multi-family property, community, or business. Contact us now to get started.

Plus, if you choose us for your bulk Christmas tree recycling this holiday season, you’ll contribute to our Treecember campaign with One Tree Planted!

Let’s work together to contribute to reforestation.

(One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to global reforestation. They plant trees to restore nature and biodiversity and work to raise awareness about the importance of trees. Learn more about One Tree Planted here).

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