We believe the beloved Christmas tree deserves a little more respect than ending up on the curb with the trash. Below is a list of Christmas tree recycling options across the state. If you do not find a recycling option that is convenient to you, please look over the innovative ways that you could incorporate your old Christmas tree into your own landscaping. Listings in italics are from last year and have yet to be confirmed.
Auburn/Opelika - On Saturday, January 2nd Keep Opelika Beautiful and Opelika Tree Commission will host a Christmas tree Recycling Event. The event will take place at Opelika Depot (1032 S. RR Avenue) from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Citizens will receive a potted nuttall oak tree seedling in exchange for the tree.
Baldwin County - Decoration-free trees can be brought to any of the below locations. For more information on the Annual Baldwin County Christmas Tree Recycling Program, call (251)972-6878.
· Bay Minette Transfer Station: 4291 Nicholasville Rd, Bay Minette, AL 36507
· Spanish Fort Volunteer Fire Dept: 7580 Spanish Ford Blvd, Spanish Fort, 36527
· MacBride Landfill: 14200 County Rd 64, Loxley, 36551
· Baldwin County Central Annex: 22251 Palmer St, Robertsdale, 36567
· Fairhope Satellite Courthouse: 1100 Fairhope Ave, Fairhope, 36532
· Magnolia Landfill: 15140 County Rd 49, Summerdale, 36580
· Foley Satellite Courthouse: 201 E. Section Ave, Foley, 36535
· Perdido Beach Volunteer Fire Dept: 8450 Escambia Ave, Perdido Beach, 36530
Birmingham - Christmas trees are picked up curbside and are chipped by the city as part of their normal landscaping and yard debris removal service on regularly scheduled pickup days. Also, the Mountain Brook Tree Commission and the Birmingham Zoo partner for this annual event. Residents are encouraged to drop off natural Christmas trees free of decorations at the zoo's picnic area next to the parking lot during normal business hours, December 26th through January 6th. The trees will be turned into mulch for use at the zoo.
Daphne – Decoration-free trees will be accepted at the following locations December 26th through January 15th. For more information, contact the Solid Waste Coordinator at 251-625-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Daphne High School:9300 Champions Way
· Al Trione Sports Complex: 8600 Whispering Pines Road
· Dr. Albert Corte, Jr. Animal Shelter: 7145 Johnson Road
Dothan - Citizens can drop off their natural Christmas trees at Dothan Utilites' 200 Kilgore Drive location, December 29th through January 9th. Please remove all decorations and ornaments prior to bringing your tree for chipping.
Enterprise - Natural Christmas trees are picked up curbside and are chipped by the city as part of their normal landscaping and yard debris removal service.
Fairhope - Trees will be picked up during regular scheduled trash days through February 22nd. Mulch created from those trees will be available at no cost to residents on Arbor Day (Feb. 27) from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Public Works Warehouse located at 555 S. Section Street. If you have questions, call 251-990-0192.
Gardendale - Natural Christmas trees are picked up curbside and are chipped by the city as part of their normal landscaping and yard debris removal service. Mulch generated goes to Gardendale city landscaping.
Homewood - Through the end of January, natural, decoration-free Christmas trees can be brought to the Community Garden (top of Evergreen by the tennis courts). The trees will be recycled and the mulch will be used in the community garden and outdoor classroom. Trees will also be picked up curbside the first two Wednesday mornings in January (6th & 13th).
Hoover - Christmas trees are picked up curbside and are chipped by the city as part of their normal landscaping and yard debris removal service on regularly scheduled pickup days. There will also be a drop-off site on Municipal Lane, across from the Lake House. Signs will be posted on Municipal Lane after Christmas.
Huntsville - Natural Christmas trees can be dropped off at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens Leaf Mulch pile (East of the main entrance), December 26th through January 15th. The trees will be mulched and used around the Garden throughout the year. Trees left on the side of the road will be picked up by the city's sanitation department during regular trash collection.
Mobile - Keep Mobile Beautiful will be collecting decoration-free, natural Christmas trees December 26th through January 13th. Trees may be delivered anytime to the locations listed below, however volunteers will provide assistance with unloading from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Trees will be mulched for use by area gardeners. Flocked trees will not be accepted. For questions, please contact Keep Mobile Beautiful at 251-208-6029.
· Parkway Plaza: 2655 Dauphin Island Parkway
· Belle Foods: 2501 Government Boulevard
· Wildwood Place: 4055 Cottage Hill Rd
· Regency Center Belle Foods: Airport at University
· Westwood Plaza: Airport at Schillinger
· Park Forest Center: Moffet at Forest Hill Drive
· Clover Leaf Plaza: Tillman’s Corner
Montgomery - Along with the Montgomery Clean City Commission and the Alabama Department of Conservation, the City of Montgomery will recycle natural, decoration-free Christmas trees by either mulching or sinking them into public fishing lakes to form fish habitats. Trees will be accepted on December 26th and January 2nd, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, at the Saturday Trash Pickup Points (listed below). Trees put out by the road will not be recycled. For more information, please call the Montgomery Clean City Commission at 334-625-2175.
· Bellingrath Jr. High
· Cramton Bowl
· Crump Elementary
· Dannelly Elementary
· Goodwyn Jr. High
· Halcyon Elementary
· Harrison Elementary
· Hayneville Road Elementary
· Morningview Elementary
· Sheridan Heights Community Center
· Southlawn Middle School
· Vaughn Road Elementary
· Wares Ferry Elementary
Mountain Brook - The Mountain Brook Tree Commission and the Birmingham Zoo partner for this annual event. Residents are encouraged to drop off natural Christmas trees free of decorations at the zoo's picnic area next to the parking lot during normal business hours, December 26th through January 6th. The trees will be turned into mulch for use at the zoo.
Prattville - Natural Christmas trees can be dropped at the Recycling Center located at 122 Ridgewood Road (across from Mac Gray Park), December 26th through January 9th, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., which are normal Recycling Center hours (Monday – Saturday). All trees must be free of lights, ornaments, tinsel, and other decorations. The trees will be mulched and used in landscaping throughout Prattville. If you are unable to drop off your tree at the Recycling Center, please place it at the curb on your normal Residential Yard Trash collection day and Sanitation will collect it for recycling.
Shelby County - County citizens can drop off their trees for recycling on December 26th through January 3rd at the following locations:
· Pelham City Park (off US 31 in Pelham)
· Ray Building (off Alabama 70 in Columbiana)
· Chelsea City Hall
· Heardmont Park on U.S. 119
· Propst Alabaster LLC (formerly Colonial Properties Alabaster, at the end of the AmStar Theater parking lot)
All drop areas are located in parking lots and designated with orange traffic cones and signs.
Tuscaloosa - From December 26th through January 10th natural Christmas trees, natural garland, and wreaths free of decorations and ornaments can be dropped off at the Environmental Services Department at 3440 Kauloosa Avenue.
Vestavia - Decoration free, natural Christmas trees can be dropped off at Scout Square (The Christmas Tree Lot) right off of Highway 31 in Vestavia. Donated trees are used as fish habitats in the lakes on the properties of Alabama Power.
Reusing Your Old Christmas Tree at Home:
· The most obvious form of recycling your old Christmas tree is to chip it up into mulch to used in your landscaping. Chippers can be rented from most hardware stores, but they do require special skills and often liability insurance to operate. Please do not consider this option if you have no or limited prior experience operating a wood chipper.
· Retired Christmas trees make great bird habitats in back yards. Secure the trunk of the tree about one foot down into the soil or use a tree stand and decorate the tree with bird seed, nuts, and old fruit. During the rest of the winter your retire Christmas tree will become a songbird’s paradise.
· Old wreaths also make a excellent bird house. Just hang your retired wreaths on trees and you’ll soon see that nesting birds have made them their new homes.
· If you happen to have a lake on your property or you have friends or family that do, old Christmas trees make excellent fish spawning habitats. Simply using a natural string or cord (Something like hemp cord works great!) tie your Christmas tree to a large rock or brick and dump it into the lake deep enough so that they entire tree is submerged.
· Christmas tree branches and old wreaths make the perfect seasonal accent to floral arrangements, flower pots, and winter landscaping.
· Consider using needles for pine-scented potpourri.
· Christmas tree branches can also be used to control soil erosion and provide ground cover on eroding surfaces.
· Retired Christmas trees can always be cut into firewood. Let the wood cure and dry for one year, so next Christmas you can heat your home with this years Christmas tree. When drying the wood make sure that the wood is elevated and not touching the ground to prevent rot.
We at the Alabama Environmental Council hope these recycling options help you be a little merrier and greener this holiday season! Let recycling your Christmas tree become a holiday tradition! For any question or comments please feel free to call us at 205-322-3126 or email us at Recycling@AEConline.org.
To find out where other materials can be recycled, visit the drop-off recycling search engine at www.RecycleAL.com.