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Christmas tree disposal
Posted January 10, 2017 | 9:37 AM

How to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree

Several free options are available to Hillsborough County solid waste customers

As you begin to pack up your holiday decorations, you may be wondering what to do with your live Christmas tree after the holiday. Several free options are available to Hillsborough County solid waste customers, including: free curbside pickup, free disposal at County yard waste facility, or recycling and reusing the tree in their landscapes.

christmas tree infograph

Pickup at the Curb
Curbside pickup of live Christmas trees is available to County solid waste customers by following these steps:

  • Remove all decorations, lights, and tinsel;
  • Cut the tree into sections no larger than 4 feet long and 6 inches in diameter; and
  • Place curbside on your regular yard waste collection day.

Drop it Off
Hillsborough County solid waste customers can skip the hassle and work of cutting their live Christmas trees into smaller pieces for curbside pickup by taking trees directly to one of the following Yard Waste Processing Facilities:

  • 346 Falkenburg Road in Tampa
  • 13001 U.S. 41 in Gibsonton
  • 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave. in Tampa

The County's three yard waste sites are open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., with the exception of holidays. The sites will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Customers are required to have a photo I.D. and their current property tax bill showing the Hillsborough County Solid Waste Disposal Assessment to access the Yard Waste Processing Facilities, and they must be able to unload the trees themselves. Customers should also remove all decorations, lights, and tinsel. Artificial trees are not accepted at the yard waste sites. For any questions about taking trees to a Yard Waste Processing Facility, call Hillsborough County Solid Waste at (813) 272-5680.

Non-county residential solid waste customers can dispose of Christmas trees and other yard waste at a Hillsborough County Yard Waste Processing Facility by paying a tonnage fee.

Recycle and Reuse
One way to recycle your Christmas tree is to simply move it to your back yard. The deteriorating tree will provide a habitat for birds and other wildlife. To provide food for birds, you can hang suet or sliced fruit from the branches. You can also chop or grind your live Christmas tree and repurpose it as mulch around trees, shrubs, and flower beds. For more ideas and information regarding recycling and repurposing live Christmas trees, contact the Hillsborough County Extension Service's Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program.

For more information about Hillsborough County solid waste collection and disposal services, go here.