News & Politics

How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree Around DC

Photograph by Evy Mages

It’s officially January, which means it’s probably time to get rid of your Christmas tree (especially if you’re one of those people who puts the tree up in November). Here are steps to recycle your tree in DC, Maryland, and Virginia—just remember to remove all the decorations and lights beforehand.


From January 3 through March 3, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will collect all trees and holiday greenery. If DPW services your home, just leave your tree on the curb before March 3, and it will be composted.

If you live in an apartment or household not serviced by DPW, you can drop your tree off at Benning Road Transfer Station (3200 Benning Rd. NE) or Guy Mason Recreation Center (3600 Calvert St. NW). You can also drop off string lights at Benning Road Transfer Station for electronic waste recycling on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.


In Montgomery County, trees are collected year-round by the county’s recycling services. Residents should place their trees on the curb by 7 a.m. on their neighborhood’s recycling day.

In Prince George’s County, curbside tree recycling runs through January 30. Residents should leave their trees out for composting by 6 a.m. on Mondays, or bring their trees to the Brown Station Road Public Container Pad & Recycling Center (3501 Brown Station Rd., Upper Marlboro).

In Frederick County, residents can drop off their trees at one of several locations through January 31.


In Arlington County, if residents place their trees on the curb to be collected by January 13, the trees will be turned into mulch that residents can then collect from county facilities. Any trees placed on the curb after that date will be included in regular yard waste collection. Those unable to do curbside pickup can drop their trees off at the Earth Products Yard (4300 29th St., S., Arlington).

In Fairfax County, trees will also be collected for curbside recycling until January 13. After that, residents must schedule a special pickup.

In Alexandria, Christmas tree pickup and recycling is included in regular curbside trash collection through January 31, and trees will be turned into mulch that residents can pick up in the spring.

In Falls Church, Christmas trees are collected curbside every Wednesday in January and February. Apartment and condo residents can drop off trees at the Fairfax County Citizens’ Disposal and Recycling Facility (4618 W. Ox Rd., Fairfax)

Katie Kenny
Editorial Fellow