Trees dropped off at Transmitter Park. Someone left theirs in a plastic bag – please don’t do this!

As of last week, we started seeing trees pile up at McCarren Park, some with lights and stands still attached, which is a big no-no. Here’s what you need to do to get your tree ready for recycling!

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the New York City Department of Sanitation , and GreeNYC are hosting the annual MulchFest this Saturday and Sunday January 7th and 8th, where trees are turned into mulch for the city’s parks and plantings. You can drop off your Christmas trees to recycle them into wood chips. These wood chips are used to nourish trees and plants on streets and gardens citywide. Or, take home your very own bag of mulch to use in your backyard or to make a winter bed for a street tree. More than 30,000 trees were recycled last year.

You can bring your tree to McCarren Park at Lorimer and Driggs on January 7 and 8 from 10am to 2pm. They’ll chip your tree, and give you your very own bag of mulch! McGolrick Park (at Monitor and Driggs) and Transmitter Park are both operating as tree drop-off sites, so you can bring your tree there but it won’t be chipped there (so no free bag of mulch). Please remember to remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, stands and netting before bringing the tree to a MulchFest chipping or drop-off site. Bags will be provided if you wish to take some free mulch home.

Or, if you don’t need the free mulch bag or if you can’t make it during Mulchfest, you can still drop off your tree at McCarren, McGolrick or Transmitter anytime from now through Sunday, January 8th.

You can also make your own mulch by cutting off the smaller branches of your Christmas tree, and removing the twigs from boughs. Lay three to four inches of these trimmings over the bare soil around street trees or in your garden. After removing the branches for mulch, you can take your tree to MulchFest or leave it out for collection.


The NYC Department of Sanitation will also be conducting special compost curbside collections for mulching and recycling of Christmas trees from Tuesday, January 3 through Saturday, January 14. The trees are chipped, mixed with leaves, and recycled into rich compost for NYC’s parks, institutions, and community gardens. Remove all lights, ornaments, stands, and plastic bags from your tree; trees that still have these items attached will be collected as garbage. Except for these dates indicated in early January, Christmas trees will be collected as garbage. You should discard fake trees that are not mostly metal or rigid plastic with regular trash.

For fake trees that are mostly metal or rigid plastic, you can remove ornaments/decorations and put them out next to your recycling container on regular recycling days.

You can also donate or sell used artificial trees that are good condition. Use donateNYC to find a place to sell or donate your tree.

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