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Christmas tree recycling program

Make it a green Christmas.
Recycle your real tree.

By recycling your real Christmas tree, you will help keep nearly 35,000 trees out of the landfill and help our collection crews stay on schedule during a busy time.

For tips on how to recycle other holiday items such as wrapping paper, boxes, packaging, and ribbons and bows, please visit our holiday recycling tips page.

Christmas tree pickup

We will pick up real Christmas trees from households that receive residential garbage collection from The City. Your tree must be out by 7:00 a.m. on Friday, January 8. Place your tree on the ground near where you put your black or blue cart and leave it out.

When preparing your tree:

  • Remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, string, garland and tree stands
  • Do not bag or wrap your tree (including recycling tree bags)

Can I put my tree in my blue, black cart or green cart?

Blue Cart
Christmas trees are not recyclable through the Blue Cart program. Do not place your real (or artificial) tree in your blue cart. For more information on what is acceptable in your blue cart, please visit accepted blue cart recyclables.

Black Cart
If your tree is cut into small pieces and placed in your black cart with the lid completely closed, trees will be collected as garbage. Trees placed in black carts will not be mulched.

Green Cart
Communities in the Green Cart Food and Yard Waste pilot will be included in the Christmas Tree Recycling Program as usual. Christmas tree trunks do not compost well and should not be placed in your green cart. However, Christmas tree branches can be placed in your green cart, so long as the lid can close all the way.

What do you do with recycled trees?

Trees are recycled by chipping them into mulch, which is available for garden/yard use while quantities last. You can get mulch at no charge from the East Calgary Landfill. The mulch is intended for residential use only and must be loaded by hand. Calgarians are welcome to take one or two truckloads.

Where can I use Christmas tree mulch?

The mulch created from Christmas trees can be used around evergreens, for yard and garden displays, and is helpful for water retention and weed control.

Please note: The mulch is acidic and may affect tender annuals such as plants and flowers. Consult your local greenhouse for more information.