How to recycle your naturally grown Christmas tree

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A naturally grown Christmas tree is a festive backdrop for the holiday season. As the needles start dropping, however, consider how you may reuse or recycle it in the days ahead: Place the tree outside to become a backyard habitat for wintering birds and creatures; cut boughs for covering and protecting flower beds; or use a few small branches to feed an outdoor fire pit.
For a simple alternative, find out how and when your city or county will accept Christmas trees for collection. Over the next few weeks, Hampton Roads residents may contribute to this seasonal recycling program when they place their naturally grown Christmas trees on the curb or drop the trees off at specified collection areas. Most localities chip the trees into mulch that is then used to up spruce up plantings around the city or county. Trees should be free of any ornaments, tinsel or stands, and lights are not recyclable in curbside recycling carts.
As of this date, the following cities and counties have announced their natural Christmas tree recycling/pick-up schedules. For updates, call your locality or visit their website. For additional information about all things green, go to
• When: Ongoing
• Where: The City of Franklin’s Public Works Department will pick up and dispose of natural Christmas trees the same as it would for any yard waste. The Public Works Department advises residents to place their discarded natural Christmas trees on the curb outside their homes or in the same location they place yard waste for pick-up.

Isle of Wight
• When: Ongoing
• Where: Natural Christmas trees can be recycled at any of Isle of Wight’s Refuse & Recycling Centers.
• What to know: Tree should be free of the stand, ornaments, tinsel and lights. Trees will be composted. is your go-to resource for all things green in Hampton Roads — from recycling tips and pointers for keeping local waterways clean to water-saving ideas and simple steps to make local living easy on the environment. Launched in 2011, the region-wide public awareness and education campaign is administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and powered by the following members: The cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg; the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry and York; the town of Smithfield; and HRSD. Like onfacebook, follow on Twitter, tune in to YouTube and catch the “Let’s Talk Green” blog,written by a team of local experts.