How to dispose of your Christmas tree and holiday greenery in 2021

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, file photo, ornaments hang on a Christmas tree on display in New York. Office holiday parties are tricky in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Dancing, drinking and fancy dinners are out. Many companies are foregoing parties altogether, deciding instead to send staff gift baskets, extra time off or donations to charities that employees choose. (AP Photo/Swayne B. Hall, File)(AP/Swayne B. Hall)
When the holiday season is over, what do you do with that tree? Here’s your comprehensive guide to responsibly disposing of your tree and other holiday greenery in the D.C. region.


Holiday trees and greenery in the nation’s capital will be collected from Department of Public Works-serviced households from Jan. 11 to Feb. 5. Place them outside where your trash is normally collected.

Residents can also drop their holiday trees and greenery at one of four locations during the same time period including:

  • Benning Road Transfer Station (3200 Benning Road NE)
  • Fort Totten Transfer Station (4900 John F. McCormack Drive NE)
  • Bryant Street Sweep Shop (201 Bryant Street NW)
  • South Capitol Street Graffiti Shop (2700 South Capitol Street SE)


Montgomery County

Live Christmas trees are accepted year-round in Montgomery County’s curbside yard trim collection. Set your tree on the curb by 7 a.m. on your recycling collection day. Residents of apartments and condominiums should check with their property managers for specific instructions. To dispose of an artificial tree, request a bulk trash pickup or consider offering it online for reuse.

Prince George’s County

Residents with yard trim collection can put live trees on the curb, undecorated and unbagged by 6 a.m. on their scheduled collection day. Weekly curbside collection of yard trim is year- round. Yard trim includes grass clippings, leaves, small branches, brush and Christmas trees. For more information about yard trim collection, dial 311.

Frederick County

The City of Frederick Christmas tree Drop Off and Recycling program will begin Dec. 26 and continue through Jan. 31. The drop off points will be:

  • Harry Grove Stadium lower parking lot
  • Husky Park Yard 2 on Highland Street
  • Tasker’s Chance parking lot on Key Parkway behind Westridge Shopping Center
  • Max Kehne parking lot on West 7th Street

Frederick County does not offer tree collection. The county does offer mulching and composting services at six drop-off locations:

  • Reichs Ford Road Yard Waste Recycling Site, 9031 Reichs Ford Road, Frederick
  • Ballenger Creek Park, 5420 Ballenger Creek Pike, Frederick (second parking lot on the left)
  • Kemptown Park, 3456B Kemptown Church Road, Monrovia (lower left parking lot)
  • Middletown Park Recycling Center, 7628 Coblentz Road, Middletown (gravel lot by maintenance shop road)
  • Point of Rocks Ruritan Club: 1637 Ballenger Creek Pike, Point of Rocks (left side of parking lot)
  • Eyler Road Park: 30 Eyler Road, Thurmont (fenced area on right)

Howard County

For curbside pickup, Howard County residents can place their trees out for pickup on their scheduled yard trim collection day until Jan. 18. Trees placed out on trash collection day will not be picked up. The county also encourages mulching at eight locations seven days per week.

After Jan. 18, trees can be placed out for trash collection but will be sent to a landfill — the county asks residents to only do this as a last resort. Trees should be undecorated and unbagged, but must be cut into less than 4 foot lengths each weighing less than 40 pounds.

Trees can still be recycled after Jan. 18 at the Alpha Ridge Wood Waste Area at 2350 Marriottsville Road in Marriottsville from Monday through Saturday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Anne Arundel County

All natural yard waste, including Christmas trees, is collected at the curb year-round on scheduled collection days. Trees, garlands and wreaths must be on the curb before 6 a.m. Cut very tall trees in half so that the tree will fit into the truck. Anne Arundel County also encourages home composting with kits available at area recycling centers.

Charles County

Christmas trees in Charles County can be dropped off at 12 sites between Dec. 26 and Jan. 10. There is no curbside recycling. Bring your tree without a plastic bag. See a full list of drop-off sites.


Fairfax County

Christmas trees can be dropped off at the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex for a $7 fee. Artificial trees can also be donated at specific locations. Licensed collectors are also required to pick up and recycle real trees of up to 8 feet that have been set outside single-family homes and town houses during the first two weeks of January.


Residents who receive trash collection services from Alexandria can set out their natural Christmas tree at regular yard waste collection points by 6 a.m. on trash collection day, without decorations and not in a plastic bag. Trees will be ground into mulch and made available to residents this spring.


From Dec. 18 through Jan. 8, Arlington residents can place real trees on the curb no later than 6 a.m. on their regularly scheduled trash collection day after removing all decorations, without a plastic bag. Trees collected will be turned into mulch available from county facilities. After Jan. 8, trees of up to 8 feet are handled at curbside as part of regular year-round yard waste collection.

Loudoun County

Loudoun County offers five locations for residents to drop off their real trees for recycling. Trees will be converted to mulch, available for residents year-round at the Loudoun County landfill. For curbside service, residents may contact their homeowners associations, town offices or recycling providers for schedules.

Prince William County

Residents of Prince William County can recycle their tree and other holiday greenery at the following locations after all decorations have been removed:

  • Prince William County Landfill, 14811 Dumfries Road, Manassas. Hours: 6 a.m. — 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Balls Ford Road Compost Facility, 13000 Balls Ford Road, Manassas. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
  • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC), 5399 Wellington Branch Road, Gainesville from Dec. 26 to Jan. 13. The drop off area is located in the parking lot in the area outlined with safety cones to the right of the building.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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