Triangle counties offer holiday tree recycling

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comDecember 25, 2013 


Thurman Strickland, left, and Keith Kelly of the Solid Waste Services Department prepare to load a discarded Christmas tree into a garbage compactor truck in January in Raleigh. Residents can dispose of trees by placing them with regular yard waste on the curb no later than 7 a.m. on collection days. The Solid Waste Services Department recycles natural Christmas trees into wood chips and mulch. The products are sold to the general public at the City's Yard Waste Center, 900 N. New Hope Road. For more information, contact the Yard Waste Center at 919-250-2728.


  • Where to take the Christmas tree

    Wake County

    The following sites will accept holiday trees 7 a.m.-7 p.m. until Jan. 19:

    • 10505 Old Stage Road, Garner.

    • 6025 Old Smithfield Road, Apex.

    • 3600 Yates Mill Pond Road, Raleigh.

    • 9008 Deponie Drive, Raleigh.

    • 5051 Wendell Blvd., Wendell.

    The following parks will accept trees 8 a.m. to sunset until Jan. 19:

    • Blue Jay Point, 3200 Pleasant Union Church Road, Raleigh.

    • Harris Lake, 2112 County Park Drive, New Hill.

    •  Lake Crabtree, 1400 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville.

    For more information, call 919-856-7400.

    Johnston County

    • County landfill, 680 County Home Road, Smithfield.

    For more information, call 919-938-4750.

    Durham County

    • Trees should be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on residents’ normal household garbage collection day. Do not place trees in bags. Residents are asked to leave the tree at the curb for one week before contacting Durham One Call at 919-560-1200 to report a missed tree collection.

    • Trees may also be dropped off at the city’s Waste Disposal & Recycling Center at 2115 E. Club Blvd., 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays and 7:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays at no charge until March 1. Residents are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes before closing. Trees delivered after March 1 will be subject to the usual disposal fees.

Evergreen indeed.

Here’s hoping the mistletoe worked because it’s time to kiss the ol’ Christmas tree goodbye.

Starting Thursday, counties across the Triangle will offer residents the opportunity to take their now-wilted trees to select recycling locations where they will be chipped and turned into mulch to soften the steps of walkers along the municipal park and greenway trails.

Johnston, Durham and Orange will all offer residents – at no cost – the opportunity to drop holiday trees off at solid waste collection convenience centers.

There are one or two stipulations in order to avoid a tree disposal fee: Wake and Durham residents must drop off their trees by March 1. Johnston County residents whose trees do not have a decal affixed to them will be charged a fee.

Officials in several of the counties promise that the once-tinseled and gift-laden holiday icons will gain new uses as mulch, but only if residents take time to strip them of their holiday trappings before dropping them off. Banned decorations at the centers include bulbs, wire, lights, garlands, fallen angels, nails, stands and tinsel. Trees taller than 6 feet should be cut in half.

Wake County’s Happy Trails Holiday Tree Recycling will begin just after daybreak Thursday at eight locations in Raleigh, Garner, Apex, Wendell, New Hill and Morrisville. Each of the centers will open at 7 a.m. and close about 7 p.m.

Johnston residents can take their old trees to the county landfill in Smithfield. Residents who managed to get a decal stuck on their trees have it a bit easier because they can also haul the evergreens to 12 solid waste convenience sites throughout the county.

Folks living in Durham and Orange counties also can drag their trees outside for curbside pickup. Chapel Hill will collect the trees on the city’s regular yard waste collection schedule. Residents living in apartment complexes should place their trees near dumpsters but not inside the containers.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service