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Keep the Green Going…Recycle that Tree!

Today’s blog comes from our expert Recycling and Hotline Department. Have any questions? Give them a call at  1-877-R-1-EARTH!

Each 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 40th year of providing information on holiday tree recycling to San Diego residents! We have a long history in the Christmas tree recycling biz…

  • The War Against Litter Committee and The San Diego Ecology Center cosponsored the “Give Earth a Gift” tree recycling project in 1972. Then, our tree recycling hotline was staffed completely by volunteers. Today, our hotline and database are expanded to include recycling information all year round. 
  • The purpose of the project was to expand public awareness and encourage active participation in reducing unnecessary waste of dead Christmas trees.
  • Drop off locations were placed at San Diego high schools; special awards were given to the three schools receiving the most trees, were given plaques engraved with the words “Good Earthkeeping Seal of Approval”
Starting in 1972, ILACSD has been your go-to tree recycling resource
Starting in 1972, ILACSD has been your go-to tree recycling resource!

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. Most 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. Here’s a complete list of Christmas tree recycling locations.


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 (trees covered in faux snow or glitter), most do not.
Click to find out where to recycle your Christmas tree and more!
Click to find out where to recycle your Christmas tree and more!