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Old Christmas Trees Help Environment in Delaware



When put out for pick up or dropped off for recycling, Christmas trees should look exactly as they did when purchased for the holidays – stripped of all adornment, including tinsel, flocking and ornaments. /DNREC photo

Residents May Drop Off Trees at Yard Waste Sites Throughout the State

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/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 to 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, 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, check the list of yard waste drop-off sites on the DNREC website at

Trees may be accepted as soon as Dec. 26 and as late as Jan. 28, 2022, 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.

Delawareans also are reminded that Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022 is the last day to drop off materials, including Christmas trees, at the Polly Drummond Hill Road yard waste site. The site will close at sundown Sunday, Jan. 16 and reopen for spring on Saturday, March 26. More information can be found at

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.