Got needles? Check out our Christmas tree recycling in Birmingham tip sheet

Photo via city of Dothan

It is that time of year again. At 12:01AM on December 26th, you begin to map out your Christmas tree recycling plan. Need to know where to go or what to do?

Here at Bham Now we’ve got you covered.

Reuse Your Christmas Tree

Before we provide you a list of places to recycle your live Christmas tree in the Birmingham area, think about reusing it. The Arbor Day Foundation made a list of 8 ways you can sustainably recycle your tree at home

Below are some of their ideas:

  • Make firewood 
  • Create your own mulch
  • Insulate your garden
  • Create fresheners from the needles

Oldest Drop-off Spot in Town

Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

No one keeps records, but as a resident of Birmingham for 31 years, I’ve got to believe the Birmingham Zoo holds the longest streak in town as a Christmas tree recycling drop-off site. 

This year, once again, the city of Mountain Brook, The Birmingham Zoo and other municipalities are making this valuable service available.

Residents can drop off their trees during normal business hours starting December 26.

Trees can be dropped at the site of the tree sale lot adjacent to the Zoo’s construction entrance until January 11. 

Remember – they are only taking trees, NO garland or wreaths. You need to remove all decorations and lights before dropping off your tree. For more information call Mountain Brook Public Works at 205-802-3867.

Shelby County’s 5  Drop-off Sites

Christmas Tree Recycling design from Vestavia Hills Facebook page

Shelby County in conjunction with the City of Chelsea, the City of Pelham, and Propst Alabaster LLC, is offering a Christmas Tree Recycling Program at five designated areas throughout the county.

The program begins December 28, 2020 through January 8, 2021 at the following five locations:

  • Heardmont Park on Cahaba Valley Road/AL-119
  • Chelsea City Hall on CR-47 in Chelsea
  • Ray Building on AL-70 in Columbiana
  • Propst Promenade Alabaster located at the end of AmStar Theatre parking lot
  • Pelham City Park on US-31 in Pelham

All drop-off areas will be located in parking lots and designated with orange traffic cones and signage, and will be monitored daily. The county plans to use the trees for landscape and erosion/sediment control materials for county facilities.

Birmingham’s Drop-off Sites

The city of Birmingham provides residents several Christmas tree recycling options including at the curb and five drop-off sites. 

The details:

  • Residents can put out their Christmas trees on the days their bulk trash will be picked up. To see the bulk trash schedule, people should visit- 
  • Residents may carry their Christmas trees to one of the four roll off containers the city  has in four Quadrants of the city.

You can also leave your Christmas tree at the Eastern Landfill – 2787 Alton Road, Birmingham, 35210.  The landfill is open daily between 7AM to 3PM and on Saturday 7AM to Noon. You need to show proof of residence to drop a tree there. Please visit for all the details.

Curbside Pickups

Christmas tree abandoned in front of the Claridge in front of Hanover Circle in Southside Birmingham

Vestavia will pick up and recycle trees at the curbside on the first collection day of the week  after Christmas and the first collection day at the start of the New Year.

The city of Homewood informed Bham Now that residents can place their live Christmas tree(s) with their trash pick up and they will recycle the tree from there.

If your municipality is not on our list, call your local  public works department.

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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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