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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. 


Bennett Compost


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. Pickup is available the weekends of December 30-31, January 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21. 

Philly Goat Project


For a suggested donation of $20 your Christmas tree helps to benefit Philly Goat Project in 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 the tree-cycle 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!  A “Quiet Visiting Area” will also be available for special friends. This year’s tree-cycle festival dates and locations are below: 


January 6, 12-3 p.m. – Farm at Awbury Arboretum

January 13, 12-3 p.m. – Farm at Awbury Arboretum 

January 20, 12-2 p.m. – Laurel Hill West Cemetery (new this year!) 

Passyunk Square Civic Association

January 6, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Columbus Square Park, 13th and Reed Streets  


Turn your Christmas trees into mulch for our local parks at this annual tree-cycling event. This location asks for a $5 donation (PayPal and Venmo available, @passyunksquare) per tree to offset the cost of chipping them into mulch. A few tree pickup slots are available! 

Curbside Pickup by Circle Compost


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. Pickup is available the weekends of December 30-31, January 6-7, and 13-14.

Friends of Orianna Hill Park

Liberty Lands, 919 3rd Street


Please only bring “naked” trees to this drop-off at the southwest corner of Liberty Lands Park behind Kaplan’s Bakery from December 26 through January 15. This treecyling will create woodchips for use at Orianna Hill and Liberty Lands. 

South Philly Holiday Tree Recycling


South Philly Green, East Point Breeze Neighbors, and Bartlett Tree Experts are hosting two tree recycling events in South Philly this year. Any donations will benefit South Philly Green to plant more trees and $1/tree will be donated to Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. They are also offering curbside tree pickups for anyone within EPBN boundaries. Event dates and locations are below: 


December 30, 12-3 p.m. – Guerin Recreation Center

January 6, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Manton Green

Philadelphia Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers & Neighborhood Drop-Off Sites


You can drop your tree off for free at one of the Streets Department’s Centers or neighborhood drop-off sites. Find your closest drop-off location on the City of Philadelphia’s website 


Lead photograph courtesy of Philly Goat Project, by Love Me Do Photography.


Laura Swartz contributed to the original version of the article and Eleanor Linafelt contributed to updating it. 

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