Tree composting, curbside schedules released

Kristi King,

Getting rid of live, cut Christmas trees isn’t nearly as fun as setting them up. But disposal season is here.

Deadline dates and rules for pickups and drop-offs may vary, but one universal requirement is that holiday trees intended for recycling must be clean. They should not be bagged with plastic or cloth and should be stripped of all tinsel, lights, nails, stands and ornaments.

Some jurisdictions have no deadline for curbside pickup of Christmas trees as part of recycling or yard trim programs.

In Montgomery County, for example, the trees are considered yard trim that should be on the curb by 7 a.m. on any regular recycling collection day.

Anne Arundel County, also deadline free, asks that very tall trees be cut in half so they fit into the contractor’s truck on regular recycling days.

Prince William County has three locations where residents can drop off trees to be recycled year round.

How late can other resident’s wait?

District of Columbia and Charles County, Md., offers curbside pickup of Christmas trees through Jan. 12.

Fairfax County residents with trees less than 8 feet tall have through the first two weeks of January to recycle trees at the curb. To dispose larger trees, contact trash collectors for recycling details.

Between Jan. 7 and Jan. 18, Arlington County residents can have trees recycled when set at the curb on regular recycling collection days. After Jan. 18, holiday trees will be considered trash to be picked up on regular collection days.

Through mid-January, Loudoun County has tree drop-off sites in five locations throughout the county. Residents with curbside recycling should contact their service provider for details.

Through Friday, Jan. 20, Howard County will pick up trees during regular curbside recycling days. Residents without curbside yard trim collection are encouraged to take trees to any number of Merry Mulch recycle centers to compost the trees.

Through Jan. 28, Frederick County and Frederick City will offer several drop-off locations for Christmas tree recycling.

Prince George’s County residents have through Feb. 1 to put trees out before 6:30 a.m. on yard waste collection days. Last year, the county collected more than 168 tons of Christmas trees for recycling.

Resident can also take their trees to the composting facility, 6601 Southeast Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or to the Brown Station Road Public Convenience Center, 3501 Brown Station Rd., Upper Marlboro, from 7 a.m. To 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Like Prince George’s, many area counties make the resulting mulch available to residents in the spring.

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