Ways to recycle Christmas trees, packaging

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 26, 2021

Many have asked what they should do with their spent Christmas trees. There are a couple of options to consider.

Rowan County’s Department of Environmental Management offers free live Christmas tree recycling at the landfill facility located at 789 Campbell Road off Woodleaf Road. The landfill will accept spent holiday trees throughout the month of January.

To recycle your spent trees, please remove all decorations, tinsel, nails, stands and bags. Residents are also reminded that artificial trees cannot be recycled. Please remember that Christmas tree lights should be disposed in your regular garbage and cannot be recycled through the county’s electronics recycling program. It’s important to do your part to recycle or dispose of holiday items that have reached the end of their useful life in the correct manner.

Rowan County Recycling Centers also accepts Christmas packaging such as boxes and non-metallic paper. However, those that want to dispose of bows and gift-wrapping paper with glitter or wax coating should be treated as normal garbage as this material is considered non-recyclable.

Spent Christmas trees can also be of benefit to wildlife. Many choose to keep their spent trees and use them to feed or shelter wildlife in in their yards. These trees, properly weighted down in a pond makes an excellent refuge and feeding area for fish and other aquatic animals For more detailed information, go to https://lee.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/01/christmas-tree-disposal-6/  and  https://www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/fact-sheet/christmas-trees-for-wildlife.pdf.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu .