How to get rid of this year’s Christmas tree

WASHINGTON — After helping you celebrate the season, the time will soon come to remove the tinsel, ornaments and lights from the tree and bid it adieu.

Depending on where you live, here are the rules for how the trees in your municipality are collected to be turned into mulch for the spring.


In D.C., the city will collect Christmas trees from Jan. 14 to Feb. 2. Trees should be placed in normal trash pickup spots by 6 a.m. on trash and recycle pick-up days. The D.C. Department of Public Works says trees can also be left for collection crews after Feb. 2, but they’ll only be able to collect them if there is room in the truck.

Trees can also be dropped off at the Fort Totten and Benning Road transfer stations.


Montgomery County

In Montgomery County, trees are accepted year-round, on normal yard waste collection days. The county asks that trees not be placed in bags and be out by the curb by 7 a.m. Trees can also be dropped off at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station.

Prince George’s County

From Dec. 31 through Jan. 28, Prince George’s County will pick up trees left by the curb by 6 a.m. on yard waste collection days. Trees can also be taken to the Brown Station Road Public Container Pad & Recycling Center and the Missouri Ave. Solid Waste Acceptance & Recycling Center.

Frederick County

From Dec. 26 through Jan. 27, Frederick County will be accepting trees at several drop-off locations in the county. The county does not provide curbside pickup of trees.

Howard County

In Howard County, trees will be collected on normal yard waste pickup days between Dec. 26 and Jan. 19. Trees should be cut into less than 4-foot lengths, and tied in bundles that weigh less than 40 pounds. The trees can also be dropped off at several collection locations in the county.

Anne Arundel County

Trees are collected on normal yard waste collection days in Anne Arundel County. Tall trees should be cut in half so they can easily fit into collection trucks.

Charles County

In Charles County trees can be dropped off at 12 collection sites throughout the county from Dec. 26 through Jan. 13.


Fairfax County

For the first two weeks of January, Fairfax County will provide pickups of trees that are under 8 feet tall. The tree must have all decorations removed. Residents have to schedule a pickup of tree after Jan. 12.


Trees will be collected in Alexandria on trash collection days, and should be place at yard waste collection points by 6 a.m.


From Dec. 31 through Jan. 11, Arlington will have special curbside pickup of Christmas trees. Those collections will take place on normal trash collection days and trees must be by the road by 6 a.m. Trees can also be taken to the Solid Waste Bureau.

Loudoun County

In Loudoun County, trees will be collected between Dec. 26 and Jan. 20. According to the county, residents should contact their homeowners association, town office or private waste collector for details on when those pickups will take place.

Trees can also be dropped off several locations in the county.

Prince William County

Prince William County doesn’t provide curbside pickup of trees but your undecorated tree can be dropped off at the Prince William County Landfill or at several other collection sites in the county.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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