“Where can I recycle my Christmas tree?” Here is the answer

Christmas Tree Recycling Birmingham Alabama

It’s the most frequently asked question after Christmas Day.

Where can I recycle my Christmas tree?

This week, the Alabama Environmental Council, one of the state’s oldest environmental organizations, published on their website the answers.

The following link is the Council’s updated Christmas Tree Recycling 2016 webpage with drop-off site information for the Birmingham area and statewide:

Christmas Tree Recycling Across Alabama (updated 12/20/2016)

Along with drop-off information/locations, the Council also provided tips on how you can reuse or re-purpose your Christmas tree. Here are the Alabama Environmental Council’s examples:

Reusing Your Old Christmas Tree at Home:

  • The most obvious form of recycling your old Christmas tree is to chip it up into mulch to used in your landscaping. Chippers can be rented from most hardware stores, but they do require special skills and often liability insurance to operate. Please do not consider this option if you have no or limited prior experience operating a wood chipper.
  • Retired Christmas trees make great bird habitats in back yards. Secure the trunk of the tree about one foot down into the soil or use a tree stand and decorate the tree with bird seed, nuts, and old fruit. During the rest of the winter your retire Christmas tree will become a songbird’s paradise.
  • Old wreaths also make a excellent bird house. Just hang your retired wreaths on trees and you’ll soon see that nesting birds have made them their new homes.
  • If you happen to have a lake on your property or you have  friends or family that do, old Christmas trees make excellent fish spawning habitats. Simply using a natural string or cord (Something like hemp cord works great!) tie your Christmas tree to a  large rock or brick and dump it into the lake deep enough so that they entire tree is submerged.
  • Christmas tree branches and old wreaths make the perfect seasonal accent to floral arrangements, flower pots, and winter landscaping.
  • Consider using needles for pine-scented potpourri.
  • Christmas tree branches can also be used to control soil erosion and provide ground cover on eroding surfaces.
  • Retired Christmas trees can always be cut into firewood. Let the wood cure and dry for one year, so next Christmas you can heat your home with this year’s Christmas tree. When drying the wood make sure that the wood is elevated and not touching the ground to prevent rot.

Whether it’s taking your old Christmas tree to a drop-off site or reusing it for landscaping or bird habitat, there are options to throwing away the tree and having it end up in a landfill.

Got questions about Christmas tree recycling? Call the Alabama Environmental Council at 205-252-7581 or email them at Recycling@AEConline.org. 






Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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