Christmas Tree Recycling & Disposal
Beginning on December 26, residents can drop off their unflocked Christmas trees, holly, pumpkins, and other living decorations at the Christmas tree collection sites noted below.
Christmas Tree Recycling
Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) is accepting Christmas trees for composting free of charge this holiday season. TDS has been helping communities across Central Texas recycle their unflocked Christmas trees and organic holiday decorations in the greenest way possible for more than a decade.
Beginning on Tuesday, December 26, residents can drop off their unflocked Christmas trees, holly, pumpkins, and other living decorations at TDS’s Christmas tree collection sites noted below. These living decorations are repurposed and made into nutrient-rich mulch and compost through the Texas Disposal Systems composting division. The finished products are available for purchase at Garden-Ville stores throughout Central Texas.
Trees and decorations must be free of flocking, lights, ornaments, metal, and other non-living contaminants. A $55 contamination fee will be assessed for trees and decorations that have not been cleaned. When bringing loads for drop-off, please ensure that materials are properly tied and secured to your vehicle, per Texas law.
Christmas Tree Recycling with Texas Disposal Systems
Where can Christmas trees be dropped off for recycling?
Christmas trees can be dropped off at any one of six TDS locations throughout the Central Texas region. They are as follows:
When can Christmas trees be dropped off for recycling?
TDS is accepting trees and living greenery between December 26, 2023 – January 31, 2024*.
* All sites that are accepting trees (listed above) will be open December 26-January 31, with the exception of January 1 when they will be closed. All Garden-Ville locations will have limited hours on December 30. Aside from these exceptions, normal hours apply.
How should I prepare my Christmas tree for recycling?
In order to be recycled, Christmas trees must be cleaned of all holiday decorations and flocking. A $55 contamination fee will be assessed for trees and decorations that have not been cleaned.
Before bringing your Christmas tree to our landfill or one of the designated Gardenville locations, please make sure that you remove:
- All lights
- All ornaments, including tree toppers
- All flocking and other types of artificial snow
- All tinsel
- Tree stands and other metal supporting structures
When possible, please avoid placing your trees inside a plastic bag. We recommend wrapping them in a tarp or blanket. You may want to cut trees taller than 6 ft. in half for easier transportation.
Finally, When bringing loads for drop off, please ensure the material is properly tied and secured to your vehicle, per Texas law.
Can other organic holiday items be dropped off for composting besides Christmas trees?
Yes. TDS will accept clean, unflocked, Christmas trees and ornament-free organic decorations such as holly, pumpkins, poinsettias, wreaths, garland and other living decorations for composting.
Is there a fee for dropping off Christmas trees?
No, this service is free.
Please note: Unflocked Christmas trees and decorations must be free of lights, ornaments, metal, and other non-living contaminants. A $55 contamination fee will be assessed for trees and decorations that have not been cleaned. When bringing loads for drop off, make sure the material is tied and secured, per Texas law.
If I’m a TDS customer and unable to drop off my live, unflocked Christmas tree for recycling, does TDS offer curbside pick-up?
For cities with TDS Green Waste Service, TDS offers curbside pick-up of unflocked Christmas trees for recycling from the dates of Dec. 26, 2023 – Jan. 31, 2024 as follows:
San Marcos/Kyle: Unflocked Christmas trees will be picked up curbside on regularly scheduled green waste pick-up days. Trees must be clear of décor, cut into 4’ pieces or less and must fit in your cart. Trees may be put in the cart or left at the curb. They will be brought to a collection station and ground into mulch.
Sunset Valley/Buda: Unflocked Christmas trees will be picked up curbside on regularly scheduled green waste pick-up days. Trees must be clear of décor, cut into 4’ pieces or less and set outside at the curb. They will be brought to a collection station and ground into mulch.
Georgetown: Unflocked Christmas trees that are clear of décor will be picked up curbside on regularly scheduled yard trimmings pick-up day. Trees seven feet in length or less can be placed at the curb uncut. Longer trees should be cut into 4’ pieces or less. All curbside-collected yard trimmings are brought to the City’s Collection Station and ground into mulch.
For Georgetown city residents, yard trimmings collection day is on the first recycling day of the month. Click here for specific service schedule information.
For specific questions regarding your area’s service, contact 1 (800) 375-8375.
Can artificial Christmas trees be composted?
No. Only real unflocked Christmas trees and other live/organic materials can be composted.
How can I dispose of my artificial Christmas trees?
TDS customers who need to dispose of their artificial trees may schedule a bulky pick-up by calling 1 (800) 375-8375. Additional fees may apply.
What is Christmas tree flocking?
On Christmas trees, flocking is the tiny, white, fibrous materials sprayed on to give the impression of snow. While it is not possible to compost Christmas trees with flocking, most flocking can be removed. If you’ve added flocking to your organic Christmas tree but want it recycled, you can look into DIY flocking removal.
TDS always assesses trees upon dropoff. A $55 contamination fee will be applied to trees and decorations that have not been properly cleaned.
The Importance of Recycling Christmas Trees
Between 25 and 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States every year. Recycling your Christmas tree lessens the environmental impact of Christmas tree harvesting and gives your tree a life beyond the holiday season.
Through the Texas Disposal Systems composting division, your unflocked Christmas trees and other ornament-free living decorations will be repurposed and made into nutrient-rich mulch and compost. The finished composts and mulches will be available for purchase at Garden-Ville stores throughout Central Texas.
Watch KXAN’s Christmas Tree Disposal news video to learn more about this process.
This Holiday Season, Discover Texas Disposal Systems
At Texas Disposal Systems, we strive to provide the highest quality waste processing service possible while keeping the interests of customers and the environment at heart. We offer residential curbside solutions, business waste processing and collection solutions, and a variety of waste processing solutions (including our own landfill, recycling, composting, etc.), among many other services.
TDS is also more than just a waste service provider. We proudly partner with events, businesses, and communities across Central Texas. Learn more about what we do below:
- Garden-ville: Discover our “closed-loop” compost and soil blending operations that divert green waste, brush, tree trimmings, fruit and vegetable matter, and more from filling up our landfills.
- Eco Academy: Our educational program is dedicated to minimizing waste in Central Texas schools by educating K-12 students about trash, recycling, and composting options.
- TDS Case Studies: Learn more about our partnerships, businesses we serve, and our community impact
- Other TDS initiatives include our Citizens Convenience Center & Resale Center, Disaster Response, Event Solutions (including portable restrooms), and more.
Thank you for recycling your Christmas tree with TDS!