The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control encourages Delawareans to regift their real Christmas trees to the environment by recycling them at one of the many yard waste recycling facilities located throughout the state.
Tree mulch is great for helping conserve and enhance First State soil. Christmas tree recycling also saves valuable space in Delaware’s landfills. More than 158,000 tons of yard waste, which includes grass, leaves, brush, trees and other lawn and landscape materials, was recycled in 2020. Prior to Delaware’s yard waste ban, many of these materials – considered reusable resources – were sent to landfills, taking up space rather than being handled through local markets for mulch and home composting.
Residents can choose from among many sites where they may drop off their Christmas tree in Delaware. Some of these sites accept trees at no cost, while others charge for the service. Before residents drop off their tree, they should call the site in advance to see what restrictions are in place and if there is a charge.
Residents who pay for curbside collection service should call their waste hauler to see if they offer Christmas tree pickup. If pickup is unavailable from their haulers, they can check the list of Sussex County yard waste drop-off sites on the DNREC website at de.gov/yardwaste.
Trees may be accepted as late as Friday, Jan. 28, but each facility has its own schedule. Commercial haulers or landscapers should call a facility prior to delivering loads of trees. Christmas trees are no longer accepted for recycling at Delaware State Parks.
Whether dropping off a Christmas tree or having it collected, prepare the tree for recycling into mulch by stripping off all decorations and lights, removing any flocking (fake snow) and detaching tree stands.