Make a New Year’s resolution for the environment to recycle your Christmas tree. Pierce County residents can recycle their tree through services coordinated by the Public Works and Utilities department, partner cities and towns, and private garbage and recycling companies.
All trees collected are composted into PREP Compost (Pierce County Recycled Earth Products), a beneficial soil amendment that is popular with home and commercial gardeners. Treecycling also helps save valuable landfill space, while the compost created enhances soil quality, saves water, and reduces reliance on chemical fertilizers.
Pierce County residents who subscribe to yard waste collection service can treecycle their unflocked Christmas tree curbside. Other residents can recycle trees free of charge at designated locations. Flocked trees cannot be recycled and must be disposed of as garbage.
The cities of Milton, Tacoma, Puyallup, and Ruston have special collection programs for households within their city limits. Contact your city hall or local garbage hauler for more details.
Before recycling your tree, remove the tree stand, tinsel, decorations, garland, nails, and staples.
To recycle curbside, cut the tree into 4-foot lengths (or smaller) and place loosely inside the yard waste container. If it doesn’t all fit, dispose of the pieces over several weeks on regularly scheduled yard waste pick-up days.
Self-haulers can take trees to the following locations during normal hours of operation:
· Anderson Island Drop Box, 9607 Steffenson Road; Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
· Hidden Valley Transfer Station, 17925 Meridian St. E.; open daily, 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
· Key Center Drop Box, 5900 block Key Peninsula Highway North; Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
· Prairie Ridge Drop Box, 11710 Prairie Ridge Dr. E.; open daily, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
· Purdy Transfer Station, 14515 54th Ave. N.W.; open daily, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
All facilities are closed New Year’s Day.
For additional drop-off sites, call Public Works and Utilities Solid Waste Division at 253-798-2179, or go to www.piercecountywa.org/treecycle. The website also has tips for recycling and reducing waste before and after the holidays.