Christmas is over, but it’s impact on the environment is not. In the days following, countless pounds of holiday waste will head to recycling centers and landfills. Here’s how to make sure your Christmas tree ends up in a productive place.

King County Christmas tree recycling programs

The following information is from King County’s “Holiday Tree Recycling” flyer from December 2019. This is for natural trees only. Please remove all garland, ornaments and lights. Click here to learn how and where to recycle holiday lights.

January 4 Boy Scouts of America pickup/drop-off events

Boy Scout troops rely on donations from Christmas tree recycling events to fund their operations. Most events are on the first Saturday of the new year, but look for flyers and road signs for local info. Please remove all decorations and have trees at the curb by 8 am. Here are a few local events:

  • Boy Scouts troops 1564 and 1804 will canvas Bainbridge Island on January 11 to pick up Christmas trees from 8 am to 4 pm. Up to 1,100 trees are chipped and used as mulch around the island each year. Register here to ensure pickup. The troop appreciates donations!
  • On January 4, Troop 600 will collect trees curbside in West Bellevue for those that register before before Dec. 31st. The pickup area is west of 405, between I-90 to Yarrow Point. Please have trees at the curb before 8 am, a $15+ donation is customary.
  • Troop 600 is also accepting drop-offs at Chinook Middle School in Bellevue (South Parking Lot) from 9 am to 3 pm on January 4. The scouts will vacuum your car upon request. A $15+ donation is customary. The city mulches the trees to use at Kirkland Park.
  • According to BSA Chief Seattle Council calendar, the “Tree Recycling Fund Raiser” at Service Club Community Park & Ballfields in Kent will take place January 4 from 9 am to 6 pm.
  • Curbside pickup in Sammamish and Issaquah Highlands on January 4. Registration not required, $15+ donations are welcome.
  • Drop-off and curbside events in Kirkland by Troop 570. Drop-off at McAuliffe Park on January 4th and 5th. Have trees curbside before 1 pm on Jan. 5. $20 donation suggested.

If your local troop’s event is missing, let me know in the comments or on our contact page and I will happily add it!

Feature photo by Dave Michuda on Unsplash.