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How and where to recycle your Christmas tree in DC, Maryland and Virginia

Now that the Christmas season is almost over, many with live trees are wondering how to properly dispose their holiday decorations.

Dry Christmas trees can easily become a fire hazard -- with 1 out of 4 Christmas tree home fires are caused by electrical problems. In addition, dry trees can be a major source of fuel in a fire, as a dry tree can burn faster than newspaper, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Several locations across the DC-area are encouraging residents to recycle their Christmas trees and holiday decorations post-holiday season. Generally, all tress must be bare -- meaning no tinsel, ornaments or lights left on the tree -- before they can be recycled.

Curious on where to recycle your Christmas tree? Here's how:

Washington, D.C.

Holiday trees and other greenery will be collected between Jan. 14 and Feb. 2. Residents in Department of Public Works (DPW)-serviced households should place their trees and greenery where trash and other recyclables are normally collected. Trees collected after Feb. 2 will not be composted.

Montgomery County

If you live in a home or townhouse, put your tree at the curb by 7 a.m. on your usual recycling collection day. Residents of apartments or condominiums should check with their property manager or representative for specific recycling instructions.

County officials say residents can also recycle branches and needles at home by adding them to a composting pile or placing them under trees as a temporary winter mulch.

Prince George's County

From Dec. 31 through Jan. 28, Prince George’s County will pick up trees left by the curb by 6 a.m. on yard waste collection days. Trees can also be taken to the Brown Station Road Public Container Pad & Recycling Center and the Missouri Ave. Solid Waste Acceptance & Recycling Center.

Anne Arundel County

Trees are collected on normal yard waste collection days. Tall trees should be cut in half so they can easily fit into collection trucks.

Arlington County

From Dec. 31 through Jan. 11, Arlington County will have a special curbside pickup of Christmas trees. Collections will take place on normal trash collection days and trees must be left by the road no later than 6 a.m. Trees can also be taken to the Solid Waste Bureau.


Trees will be collected in Alexandria on trash collection days. All trees should be placed at yard waste collection points by 6 a.m.

Fairfax County

During the first two weeks of January, Fairfax County will provide pickups of trees that are under 8-feet tall. Trees must have all decorations removed from them. Residents must schedule a pickup of their free after Jan. 12.

Prince William County

Trees can be dropped off at the following locations and times to be recycled:

The Prince William County Landfill, 14811 Dumfries Road in Manassas

  • Monday - Saturday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. –5 p .m.
  • The facility is closed New Year’s Day.

The Balls Ford Road Compost Facility, 13000 Balls Ford Road in Manassas

  • Monday - Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • The facility is closed New Year’s Day.

Leesylvania State Park, 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive in Woodbridge, off Neabsco Road

  • Trees may be dropped off at Shelter #2 and will be used for wildlife and aquatic habitats.

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC), 5399 Wellington Branch Road in Gainesville

  • December 26 – January 7, 2019

Loudoun County

Loudoun County trees will be collected between Dec. 26 and Jan. 20. According to the County, residents should contact their homeowners association, town office or private waste collector for details on when those pickups will take place.

Trees can also be dropped off in several locations across the county.