Still need to recycle your Christmas tree? Here's how to properly dispose of it

City News Service
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Still have your Christmas tree? Here's how to properly recycle it
City leaders say now is the perfect time to get rid of your Christmas tree. They say the longer you keep a real tree inside your home, the drier it gets - which then becomes a fire hazard.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- City leaders encouraged Angelenos to properly dispose of and recycle their Christmas trees -- and detailed the various ways to do so.

During a morning news conference at Fire Station 59 in the Sawtelle area, Councilwoman Traci Park highlighted the city's Christmas tree recycling program, saying residents can request free curbside pickup, with the trees repurposed into mulch and compost.

"In the wake of the holiday season, proper Christmas tree recycling isn't just about environmental responsibility -- it's a crucial step in reducing fire risks and alleviating the strain on our dedicated firefighters,'' Park said in a statement.

Park noted that L.A. Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley discussed how improperly disposing of trees, especially in canyon and hillside communities, can pose a significant fire hazard.

"LA Sanitation's recycling program not only ensures eco-friendly disposal but also provides valuable resources like compost and mulch, aiding in fire prevention efforts and lessening the burden on our firefighting heroes,'' Park added.

Park was joined Tuesday by Teresa Villegas, president of the L.A. Board of Public Works; Barbara Romero, director and general manager of L.A. Sanitation and Environment; and Susana Reyes, a public works commissioner.

According to Park, there are three ways to schedule Christmas tree collection, which the city's L.A. Environment and Sanitation oversees.

Angelenos can call the 24-hour Customer Care Center at 1-800-773-2489; visit the MYLA311 and submit a service request; or go on to schedule a bulky item pickup.

Trees can also be left outside for pickup on regular collection days. If possible, residents are urged to cut trees into pieces and place them into a green bin.

LASAN asks that all decorations, tinsel and tree stands be removed.

If a tree is too big to be cut, simply place the tree curbside next to the green waste bin. Artificial trees cannot be recycled and should be placed in the black container to go to the landfill.

Several drop-off sites are also available; they can be found at here.

Last week, the L.A. County Department of Public Works announced its Christmas tree recycling season began as well. In most areas of the county, residents can place natural Christmas trees curbside, next to the recycling and waste containers, on scheduled trash-collection days during the next two-or-so weeks, depending on location.

Residents are asked to remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, nails and plastic containers, as well as plastic or metal tree stands. No trees wrapped in plastic will be accepted, nor will artificial trees.

A complete list of recycling rules, dates and drop-off sites specific to incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county can be found at

Additional information on tree recycling, as well as environmental programs serving L.A. County, is available by calling 1-888-CLEAN LA between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

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