Christmas Tree Recycling: What to know and where to go in the DC region

While there is much debate about how long Christmas decorations should stay up and when you should take down your Christmas tree, there are some do's and don'ts when it comes to disposing of your tree that everyone should know.

If you are getting rid of your live tree, make sure you take off every decoration including lights, ornaments, tinsel, nails, stands and more. If you have a fake Christmas tree, those can't be recycled.

Here's what you need to know about Christmas tree pick up in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.


In D.C., Christmas tree collections will run from Jan. 3 to March 3, and all trees picked up during this period of time will be composted. Trees and greenery are typically collected by DPW crews within five days of set out.

After March 3, composting is not guaranteed for trees and greenery. Residents can also drop their Christmas trees and holiday greenery at a recycling location.

Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County will collect and compost your Christmas trees and wreaths on your yard waste collection day.

Charles County

Residents can drop off their Christmas trees at one of 12 sites from Dec. 26 through Jan. 8.

Frederick County

Christmas tree recycling will run from Dec. 26 through Jan. 22. The county will turn your cut Christmas tree into mulch or compost. Frederick County does not provide curbside collection of Christmas trees.

Montgomery County

Montgomery County says they accept Christmas trees from single-family homes and townhomes year-round as part of their curbside yard trim collection. Residents should set out their Christmas tree at the curb by 7 a.m. on your recycling collection day.

If you live in an apartment or condo, check with your property manager or representative for specific recycling instructions.

Prince George's County

Yard trim and Christmas tree collection will run from Jan. 2 to Jan. 30 in Prince George's County. Residents should place their tree at the curb by 6 a.m. on their regularly scheduled yard trim collection day.

There is also a recycling center in Upper Marlboro where residents can drop off trees.

Fairfax County

In Northern Virginia, Fairfax County residents can set out their trees for pickup during the first two weeks of January. Residents can also drop off their trees at the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex. There is an $8 fee to recycle your tree.

The Fairfax County Park Authority is reminding people to recycle their trees at the curb and not by dumping them in the woods or on Fairfax County parkland. 

Loudoun County

Residents in Loudoun County who receive curbside recycling services should contact their homeowners' association, town office, or private waste collector for Christmas tree curbside recycling information. 

From late December through mid-January, Loudoun County residents may also take their Christmas trees to a recycling location. Christmas trees will be processed into mulch available for free to Loudoun residents at the landfill.

Prince William County

Prince William County will pick up cut Christmas trees on yard waste collection day during the first two full weeks of January. They also have multiple disposal sites in the county.