Departamento del Medio Ambiente de San Francisco

Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Tree-Cycling Alive

San Francisco, CA – Today, a venerable San Francisco holiday tradition returns that keeps the spirit of giving alive while ensuring everyone can stay green through the end of season by recycling Christmas trees. City officials from the Environment Department and San Francisco Public Works are reminding all San Francisco residents that their previously adorned Christmas trees will be collected by Recology from January 2 to January 13, 2023. Last January, San Francisco recycled more than 500 tons of Christmas trees.  

“The residents of San Francisco have always been thoughtful stewards of the environment. We are grateful this mindfulness continues after the holiday season through the recycling of their trees” said Tyrone Jue, Acting Director of the Environment Department. “By keeping compostable materials out of landfill, we can all continue to reduce emissions and ensure a healthier environment for generations to come.”

Recycling your Christmas tree this year is easy: Simply place your tree next to your blue recycling bin the night before your regular collection day between January 2 and January 13. Please remember to remove all tinsel, decorations, nails, plastic bags, stands, and lights anything that had been added to the natural tree. If your tree measures more than 6 feet tall, please cut it in half. Trees should not be put into a plastic bag. Trees will be collected curbside by a dedicated truck on your regularly scheduled collection day.

See attached collection schedule.

“We never want to see old Christmas trees left out on the sidewalk willy-nilly for extended periods where they can become hazards,” said interim San Francisco Public Works Director Carla Short. “San Francisco’s tree-cycling initiative helps keep our neighborhoods clean and safe by allowing residents to dispose of their discarded trees properly and, as importantly, puts them to good use as a compostable material that can be used for gardens and farms.”

Collected Christmas trees will be transported to Recology’s Jepson Prairie Organics composting facility, near Vacaville. The trees will be chipped and utilized as an important component for the composting process.

The holidays are the largest recycling weeks of the year in San Francisco. Christmas tree-cycling helps keep San Francisco green and clean by reducing material sent to landfill and preventing improper disposal and illegal dumping.

The City also wants to remind residents during the season of giving to properly sort their recyclables and utilize the blue recycling bin for excess wrapping paper and flattened cardboard boxes. Ribbons, twines, and Styrofoam packing cubes go in the landfill bin.

Additional information is available online at Residents and businesses can contact Recology at [email protected] or call at (415) 330-1300.


News abstract: 
Continuing an annual tradition in its 36th year, City residents can place unflocked Christmas trees curbside the night before their collection day to ensure trees are recycled.
SF Environment
SF Environment
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