Riverside County residents can return their natural Christmas trees to the ground by dropping them off at a county landfill to be recycled into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Recycling organic material is an innovative way to ensure that organic waste is diverted away from landfill burial, recycled, and turned into a valuable soil amendment.
Through the free Christmas tree drop-off program, natural trees collected at the Badlands and Lamb Canyon landfills will be chipped and combined with food waste and other organic waste to make compost or mulch.
Natural Christmas trees must be prepared for recycling by removing all decorations, lights, tinsel, and tree stands. Flocked trees cannot be recycled through this program and need to be cut up and placed in a regular trash container.
Other natural Christmas trees that are recycled at free drop-off sites, or at the curb, will be taken to local green-waste processors to be recycled into compost or mulch. Most trash haulers will collect Christmas trees curbside for two weeks after Christmas. Place the prepared tree next to or inside the green-waste container on your regular pick up day. Trees over four feet tall should be cut in half.
For those without a curbside pickup program, the following drop-off locations will accept up to three properly prepared residential Christmas trees for free:
Trees that are not recycled at drop-off locations or through curbside pick-up will only occupy valuable space in landfills. These programs are offered to educate residents about the ease and advantages of organic material recycling and how composting preserves valuable space in county landfills.
For more information on this program, contact the Riverside County Department of Waste Resources at 951-486-3200 or visit the waste guide for additional green holiday suggestions at www.rcwaste.org/wasteguide/holiday.
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