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Don't Toss That Tree, Recycle It

Posted December 25, 2007
Updated September 6, 2011

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— Once all the presents are opened, it is time to begin taking down that Christmas tree. You don't have to throw the tree out; you can recycle it in Durham and Wake counties.

Durham County residents with a current solid waste decal can bring their trees to any of the following solid waste convenience centers for disposal:

  • Highway 55, Alexander Drive
  • Rougemont, Bill Poole Rd. Highway 501 N
  • Bahama, Quail Roost Road, Ball Road
  • Redwood Road., Electra Drive

To prepare trees for disposal, residents are asked to:

  • Remove all decorations, including tinsel, lights, garland, and ornaments.
  • Separate stands, nails, and other hardware used to support the tree prior to disposal.
  • Prepare artificial trees similarly for garbage disposal.

Durham County’s convenience centers will begin collecting Christmas trees on Wednesday, Dec. 26, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. The sites will close on New Year’s Day, and reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Starting Wednesday, Wake County residents can drop off gift wrap, gift boxes, greeting cards and Christmas trees for recycling at the following convenience centers.

  • 1050 Old Stage Rd. in Garner
  • 6000 Old Smithfield Rd. in Apex
  • 3600 Yates Mill Pond Rd. in South Raleigh
  • 9008 Deponie Dr. in North Raleigh
  • 5051 Wendell Blvd. between Wendell and Zebulon

The following Wake County parks will also be recycling Christmas trees only between Dec. 26 and Jan. 13, during regular park hours.

  • Blue Jay Point County Park, 3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd. in Raleigh
  • Harris Lake County Park, 2112 County Park Dr. in New Hill
  • Lake Crabtree County Park, 1400 Aviation Pkwy. in Morrisville

The employees of the Fayetteville Public Works Commission, City of Fayetteville and Progress Energy will join forces for the 14th annual “Grinding of the Greens” Christmas Tree Recycling program.

Employees from PWC, the City, and Progress Energy have volunteered to collect trees and grind them up to be used for mulch at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden. The mulch will be used on woodland paths and flowerbeds at the Garden. The annual event will take place on Jan. 12, 2008.

Fayetteville city residents can put their trees out for curbside collection by Jan. 7. The City will make special pickups Jan. 7-11. No trees will be picked up prior to that date.

All lights, stands and trimmings should be removed from your tree. If you live outside the City or miss the pickup, you may drop your tree at the Botanical Gardens (Hwy 301 North) any day before Jan. 12 or observe the activities at the Botanical Gardens on the morning of Jan. 12. If dropping a tree off on Jan. 12, trees should be dropped off no later than 8 a.m.


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  • clackymcsplatter Dec 26, 2007

    Ill Remove anyones Christmas tree for $50..919-282-4472

  • North Carolina Native Dec 26, 2007

    I like to wait until after the 1st of the year but this year it's so crispy I just want it out. I usually put it in the woods and we put bird seed bells on it.... or pinecones with peanut butter and seed... they love it.

  • Humungous Dec 26, 2007

    The National Christmas Tree Association? These people need a life.
    Hats off to those with enough brain cells to think of the wildlife that benefit from properly disposed Christmas trees!

  • Dreamin of Disney World Dec 26, 2007

    We always take our's down on the 12th day as well.. Which just happens to be my birthday. We then leave it out in our woods for the birds and critters. And sometime in summer after the spring nestings. We have a HUGE bonfire in our homemade firepit. WHooooshh..kids love it. We sit around a summer night and remember what a fine Christmas we had and what a great tree it was.

  • skypilot-not Dec 26, 2007

    My woods are much closer unless you want to pay for gas.....

  • Hip-Shot Dec 25, 2007

    I saw in the old Wildlife in NC series of magazines that they were used as freshwater artifical reefs for fish habitat...this was many years ago.

  • JohnnyMalaria Dec 25, 2007

    I never understand why trees are taken down the day after Christmas. It seems so abrupt dismissive. I always take mine down on Twelfth Night (January 6th) - the traditional date. I only put mine up three days ago, too.

  • WRALSUCKS Dec 25, 2007

    I have a collection of them out in our woods... I always think some creatures can reuse it when we're through with them.