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Beyond Wrapping Paper: Recycle Your Tree Too!

recycling_a_tree2Each holiday season, the County of San Diego and ILACSD work together to remind everyone that holiday recycling goes beyond just wrapping paper and gift boxes, your tree can be recycled too!

This year, I Love A Clean San Diego is celebrating its 38th year of providing information on holiday tree recycling to San Diego residents! Started in 1974, our tree recycling hotline was staffed completely by volunteers until recently when our hotline and database were expanded to include recycling information all year round.

Throwing away your holiday tree and other foliage needlessly wastes a natural resource and decreases the capacity of local landfills. Trees and yard trimmings are easily recyclable into mulch and compost which are then used to improve soil health at residences, public parks, and local farms. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, 25-30 million holiday trees are sold each year in the United States.

IMGP0077Most waste haulers offer special holiday tree recycling programs to pick up trees with yard waste on regular collection days. In addition to curbside pick-up, tree drop-off sites are located in the communities of Bonsall, Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Escondido, Fallbrook, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Ramona, San Marcos, Solana Beach, Valley Center, Vista and several communities in the City of San Diego. A complete list of tree recycling locations is also available at

I Love A Clean San Diego operates San Diego County’s official recycling website and call center which refers thousands of residents to the proper facilities to recycle or dispose of just about anything. From broken surfboards to wine corks, railroad ties to cooking oil, WasteFreeSD makes recycling quick and convenient. San Diego County residents can go to: or call 1-877-R-1-EARTH to learn how to recycle their holiday trees as well as hundreds of other items.

Before recycling your holiday tree, review this list of recycling tips to ensure that your tree is recycled properly:

  • Trees taller than four feet should be cut in half.
  • All tree stands, nails and tree decorations must be removed.
  • Check with your local hauler to see if they accept flocked trees (most do not).