When You’re Ready, Here’s How to Recycle or Dispose of Your Christmas Tree

Once the holidays have concluded and your tree starts to turn brown or drop needles, you might be wondering, “What do I do with it?”

dead christmas trees on sand dunesHere Are the Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Curbside Collection: Waste Management crews will collect Christmas trees as regular yard waste on your normal collection day. Trees must be curbside and free of its stand, tinsel, lights and ornaments. Trees collected curbside will be hauled to Hampton Roads Recovery Center and landfilled.

  • Landfill and Resource Recovery Center: You also have the option to bring your tree to the City’s Landfill and Resource Recovery Center, located at 1989 Jake Sears Road, where it will be chipped and used for mulch by City landscape crews. Again, all trees must be free of their stand, lights, ornaments and tinsel. 

  • Beaches: Residents should NEVER place trees on our area beaches. The City’s Beach Operations and Landscape Services divisions work to manage our beautiful sand dunes. Trees contain a lot of sap and, once dry, are fire hazards. Trees can also end up in the water and pose a safety concern for marine life, boaters and swimmers. Rather than trees, our City uses sand fencing and natural, native grasses and vegetation to strengthen our dunes. 

  • Return to Seller: Some of the local nurseries have take-back programs. Check with the location where you purchased your tree to see if they take them back. If not, check with one that does, and they might take yours as well. 

  • Local Drop-Offs: The Virginia Aquarium in partnership with Marine Stewards America will collect and recycle Christmas trees in support of marine-focused conservation through Jan. 6. For full details, visit VirginiaAquarium.com/plan-your-visit/events/christmas-tree-recycling. 

    Oceana Naval Air Station is also recycling live Christmas Trees. If you have four or fewer live trees, they may be dropped off at Bldg. 78, The Natural Resources Center at 800 Oceana Blvd. or Dam Neck Annex, Bldg. 127 off of Regulus Ave. For more information, call 757-433-2151.

  • Faux Tree: If your fake tree is a bit scraggly and you no longer have a use for it or simply purchased a new one, consider donating your old tree. Virginia Beach is full of wonderful charitable organizations that would gladly accept your donated tree.
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