The best way to get rid of an old Christmas Tree is to recycle it, according to the public works departments in several local cities and Los Angeles County.
Not only is recycling better for the environment, it’s also safer since ongoing dry weather conditions and gusty winds can quickly turn a dried out Christmas Tree into a fire danger. In this type of weather, an improperly dumped tree can quickly spark like a match, and its flame spread rapidly by gusty winds.
A recycled tree on the other hand can be used as compost, mulch, or ground cover, which reduces the production of landfill waste and preserves natural resources.
In many local cities, recycling a Christmas Tree can be done safely and easily just by placing it next to your trash bin on regular trash collections days during the first two week of January. Some larger trees may have to be cut in half and placed in a green recycling bin, or they can be taken to one of several conveniently located drop-off sites that will open on selected dates. Those who miss their curbside recycling dates should cut their trees into smaller pieces and place them in a green waste container.
No matter what recycling method you choose, be sure to follow some basic steps required by most trash haulers before disposing your tree: remove all ornaments, decorations, tinsels and stand from the tree before it is picked up or dropped off. Many haulers will not accept flocked trees for recycling, so another means of disposal should be used. Check your city website or visit www.CleanLA.com or call 1(888) CLEANLA for more guidelines.
Local City and County Guidelines
Unincorporated LA County: County’s 160 unincorporated communities can recycle their trees by leaving them curbside on regular trash collection days through Jan. 18.
Bell Gardens: Curbside recycling through Jan. 14. From Jan. 15 to Jan. 23, residents can drop their Christmas Trees off at Veterans Park – 6662 Loveland Street – and Bell Gardens Public Works Yard – 8327 S. Garfield Ave. – 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Flocked trees not accepted. For more information, call Athens Services at (888) 336-6100.
City of Commerce: Curbside recycling through Jan. 14. Flocked trees cannot be recycled and will be collected as waste. After Jan. 18, follow regular recycling procedures and cut the tree into pieces no longer than 4 feet and place them in your greenwaste container. For more information, call (562) 259-1239.
City of Los Angeles: LA Bureau of Sanitation offers curbside collection on regular trash collection days. If your Christmas tree is too big to cut and place inside the green waste bin, simply place the tree next to your green waste bin on collection day. Residents of multifamily buildings should also place trees on the curb on their building’ regular collection day,
The city of Los Angeles will hold tree a drop-off event this Saturday, Jan. 5 at multiple locations throughout the city, including several fire stations. Christmas Trees will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at these local drop-off sites:
—Griffith Park – Junction of Golden State (5) & Ventura (134) Freeways in the LA Zoo parking lot.
—L.A. Fire Station #44 -1410 Cypress Ave., 90065-Cypress Park, (213) 485-6244.
For other Los Angeles locations, visit www.lacitysan.org/tree-recycle .
Montebello and Monterey Park: Athens Services provides the Christmas Tree recycling service in both cities on normal pickup days through the second week of January. Trees are delivered to Puente Hills Landfill where they are ground up and used as mulch or cover material at the landfill. Trees over 6 feet in length must be cut in half. Trees with flocking or fire retardants ARE acceptable. If you miss the date for recycling, please cut up your tree and place it in your yard waste container(s). For more information, contact Athens Services at (888) 336-6100.
Vernon: Christmas Trees can be placed curbside Jan. 6-9 for pick up. Flocked trees are not accepted for recycling. For more information, call (323) 583-8811 ext. 231.