Christmas tree recycling: Denver city crews will pick up trees through Jan. 15

In with the New Year, out with the Christmas tree.

Denver, as well as other cities and counties in the metro area, have programs to recycle live Christmas trees. Denver’s “Treecycle” program turns discarded live trees into mulch and compost for the city’s residents, which is distributed in May.

Treecycle’s curbside pickup by the city’s solid waste department started on Jan. 4 and runs through Jan. 15. Only natural trees are collected, no artificial trees, and all lighting and decorations should be removed from the trees.

Denver residents should set out trees, no later than 7 a.m., on a regularly scheduled trash collection day next to the trash cart or in the alleyway.

“Trees must be placed at least two feet away from collection carts, structures, and other obstacles,” according to the program. “Do not place trees inside bags or collection carts.”

Extra trash collection will be suspended during the two-week program so crews can collect the trees. Lights can be dropped off for recycling at two locations in the city:

  • Cherry Creek recycling drop-off near the intersection of South Quebec Street and East Cherry Creek South Drive. Enter going south on East Cherry Creek South Drive and follow the signs.
  • Blue Star Recyclers (new this year), 953 Decatur St.

The Cherry Creek location is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Blue star is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with Saturday drop off from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to the city’s website.

Light strings and wires for incandescent, LED, and “icicle” lights, are accepted. Attached bulbs are accepted and light strings should be removed from packaging.

Bubble (liquid-filled) or neon lights are not accepted.

Denver urges residents to be creative and resourceful to cut down on garbage and waste throughout and after the holiday season, including reusing some items, like wrappings and ribbons.

“American households generate 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, adding one million tons of waste to landfills each week,” according to the city.

Residents outside of Denver should check with their local government, or waste service provider, about seasonal recycling programs.


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