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How to Get Rid of Your Christmas Tree in Philly

Keep your Christmas green and recycle your tree.

Oh, Christmas tree. Now that the holidays are over, that once-festive tree is shedding pine needles all over the place, and it’s time to get that thing out of your home. Why not do the environmentally friendly thing and recycle it?   Luckily, there are many options for this, including plenty of places to drop off that conifer. You can even feed it to goats!! Just make sure you take all the lights and decorations off first. And, as with everything, be sure to mask up and maintain your distance to keep everyone safe.

Bennett Compost

Weekend of January 15 for pick-up is the only date still available Not sure what to do with your Christmas tree? Bennett Compost has you covered! Help make the holidays a little greener this year by composting your Christmas Tree and other living decorations! Keep these nutrient-rich organics out of landfills, and recycle them into compost for the garden.

Please note: if you’re already a composter, you can add this product for yourself via your online account.

The Schuylkill Center

Now through January 7 8480 Hagys Mill Rd. Evergreen trees provide extra warmth, shelter, and comfort for wildlife patients staying at the Schuylkill Center over the winter. Make sure your tree is still green and fresh, and completely free of ornaments, wire, tinsel, or any other materials. Please leave your tree in the driveway to the left of the drop-off barn opposite the Clinic front-door.

Philly Goat Project

January 8 and 22, 12 – 3 pm The Farm at Awbury, 6336 Ardleigh Street For a suggested donation of $20 your Christmas tree helps to benefit Philly Goat Project is so many ways. Your tree will be eaten by the goats and/or turned into woodchips that help line the trails around Awbury Arboretum, the goats’ paddocks, or in parks around the city. Your donation will go towards the Philly Goat Project’s mission of using “Goats for the Greater Good” and providing free programming to our community. Beyond the Christmas tree drop, activities during the farm festivals will include exploring the farm, a roaring fire pit, hot cocoa, and a petting area with the goats. You can join the fun even if you don’t have a tree! Just park and walk into the farm using Washington Lane entrance (look for the ambassadors to guide you). A “Quiet Visiting Area” will also be available for special friends.

Passyunk Square Civic Association

January 8, 9 am — 3 pm Columbus Square Park, 13th and Reed Streets   This location asks for a $5 donation (PayPal and Venmo available, @passyunksquare) per tree to offset the cost of chipping them into mulch for local parks. A few tree pickup slots are available! Please plan to wear a mask when dropping off your tree, remove all decorations, and do not bring trees before January 8th.

Curbside Pickup by Circle Compost

Weekends of January 8 and 15   If you live within Circle Compost’s service area (much of the city is included), you can sign up online for $20 curbside pickup. Circle Compost will bring your tree to one of their nonprofit farm partner locations, and grind it up into wood chips. The chips will be used by the farms as mulch and also in the composting process. Trees will need to be placed outside of your house the Friday night of your pickup weekend, by midnight, with all ornaments / decorations removed.

UC Green

January 8, 10 am — noon (Clark Park, near 43rd & Chester) and 12:30 —2 pm (Malcolm X. Park on 52nd Street) UC Green and TreeKen will be offering treecycling at two different neighborhood locations on January 8. Trees will be mulched and used to aid the park trees. A donation of $5-$20 is requested. Be sure to hand your tree off to a UC Green Volunteer.

Friends of Orianna Hill Park

Collection through January 17 Liberty Lands 919 3rd Street Please only bring “naked” trees to this drop-off at Orianna Hill Park. This treecyling is sponsored by Penn Treaty SSD.

Philadelphia Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers

  You can drop your tree off for free at one of the Streets Department’s Centers. The locations are:
  • 3901 N. Delaware Ave.
  • 2601 W. Glenwood Ave.
  • 5100 Grays Ave.
  • Domino Lane and Umbria Street
  • State Road and Ashburner Street
  • 3033 S. 63rd Street

Philadelphia Streets Department Saturday-Only Neighborhood Drop-Off Sites

  In addition to those everyday sanitation center locations, there are 13 Sanitation Convenience Centers accepting your tree for free on two Saturdays in January.       Lead photograph courtesy of Philly Goat Project, by Love Me Do Photography. Laura Swartz contributed to the original version of the article.

Content Director, Main Line Parent & Philadelphia Family. Email me at pamela@familyfocus.org