Mulchfest 2020: Here’s How to Dispose of that Christmas Tree

Mulchfest 2020: Here’s How to Dispose of that Christmas Tree
It’s a sad end for a Christmas tree to be disposed off in the garbage. Irina Groushevaia/Bklyner

One of the most significant sources of waste during the holidays comes from the twinkling, star-topped centerpiece that represents Christmas to so many Americans: the Christmas tree. Sadly, many of these wind up in landfill. Enter Mulchfest, through which New Yorkers can drop off their used Christmas trees at 67 drop-off sites throughout the five boroughs through Saturday, January 11.

Trees will be chipped and turned into fertilizer for plants in the city’s parks and community gardens, and residents can bring home a bag of wood chips to nurture their own garden with.

“Recycling trees is one of the easiest ways to show our commitment to caring for our urban forest, giving holiday trees new life by turning them into much needed fertilizer,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. Through Mulchfest, NYC Parks kept more than 28,000 trees out of landfill last year.

Residents looking to have a more active role in the recycling of their tree can actually do the chipping themselves – just bring your tree to a chipping site, found on the NYC Parks website, on January 4 or January 11.

If you can’t make it to Mulchfest, the NYC Department of Sanitation will pick up your tree for you. Curbside Collection runs from January 6 – 11, and residents are asked to place clean, unbagged trees out for collection with all waste – stands, lights, ornaments, and tinsel – removed. The trees will be chipped, mixed with leaves, and turned into compost for the city’s parks, community gardens, and other public spaces.

Residents can find opportunities to donate plastic or metal trees at nyc.gov/donate.

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