How to dispose of a Christmas tree

After all the festivities of present openings, good cheers, family gatherings and too much food and drink, comes the dreary process of packing up the decorations and storing them for another year.

Which always leaves one question.

What to do with the Christmas tree.

If you’ve gone for a real tree it’s not a question of storing it for another year, it’s how to get rid of it quickly without sending it to landfill.

Even if you’ve got an artificial tree, you’ll spend some time wondering whether it’s going to last another year in storage or if it’s time to dispose of the old and get a new tree next year.

Whether you’ve got a real or artificial tree, there’s plenty of options available for how to dispose of it.

Whether it’s recycling, disposing of or even replanting your Christmas tree, here’s a few things you could do.


How to dispose of a real Christmas tree

There’s nothing quite like having a real Christmas tree in the living room over the festive period.

But it does mean getting a new tree every year, and inevitably, disposing of your tree when it’s time to take everything down.

Unlike an artificial tree, it’s not really an option to store your real Christmas tree until the following year, so that leaves you needing a way to get rid of it.

Recycle your tree - Christmas trees are easily recyclable and depending on the size of it, you could even put your tree in with your garden waste.

If your tree is too big for the green bin, taking it to the local recycling centre is the best option.

You can do this yourself if you’ve got a car big enough, but you’ll be clearing pine needles out for a while after.

And if you have a van, that means booking a permit and designated drop-off time.

Replant your tree - If your Christmas tree still has its roots attached, you always have the option of replanting the tree in a pot outside. This can preserve your tree for another year and save you buying a new one.

Depending on the space you have, this may or not be an option.

Get your tree picked up - Many local councils offer Christmas tree collections and some offer free collection services specifically for old Christmas trees. The only thing to note is this service can be busy at peak times and you could be waiting a while for a collection.


Can you burn a real Christmas tree?

It’s highly advised NOT to try and burn a Christmas tree if you have a log stove or fireplace in your home.

This is because the pine needles attached to the branches are extremely flammable and can create a lot of sparks that could be hard to control in an enclosed space.

It’s possible for lit pine needles to get stuck in the chimney and cause fires too.

Christmas tree fires also burn extremely hot and could easily cause irreparable damage in your home.


How to dispose of an artificial Christmas tree

Buying an artificial Christmas tree can be the more environmentally friendly way to decorate your home because it doesn’t contribute to any excess felling of trees and they last for a long time.

That said, you should be careful how you dispose of your tree to avoid it adding to the environmental impact of landfill.

So here’s a few things you can do.

Save your tree - By far the easiest thing to do is simply store your artificial tree in your home until the next year when you can bring it out again. Attics or storage cupboards can easily hide your tree out of the way.

Donate your tree - If you want to get a new artificial tree but think your current one has some life in it yet, consider donating it to a local charity shop. Whether a shop will take the tree depends on the size and whether they have the space, but it’s an option.

Take your tree to the tip - If you have a way of transporting your tree to the local tip or recycling centre, then this is another way of disposing of your artificial tree. If you have a van, you’ll need to book a drop-off time at the tip before you arrive.

Book a removal collection - The easiest way to have your old artificial Christmas tree removed is to have a collection service come and get it from your home directly. Some councils offer this service but you’ll need to check with your local authority.

How to recycle a Christmas tree

Recycling your old Christmas tree is by far the most ethical and environmentally conscious thing you could do.

About eight million Christmas trees are disposed of every year in the UK according to the gov.uk website.

And putting all these trees on landfill would cost the taxpayer about £22m, not to mention the environmental damage.

If you’ve got a real Christmas tree, your local recycling centre can take it and it will be shredded and made into wood chippings to be reused in woodlands or local parks.

Or, if you’ve got the space and time, you could even replant your Christmas tree outside and save it for the next year.

With an artificial tree, these are best stored at home where they can be reused the following year.

However if your fake tree has seen better days, you can take it to your local waste and recycling centre.

It’s not always possible to recycle artificial trees because of the mix of metal and plastic used to make them, but the recycling centre will be able to take it off you.

You can take your artificial tree to the local recycling centre yourself if you have the space in your car.

Just be aware that if you’ve got a van, you’ll need to book a permit and slot to arrive at the recycling centre.

Most councils also offer a recycling collection service, and a few offer free services for Christmas tree collection.

These services are often busy though so you could end up waiting a while for your old tree to be removed.

And if you’ve got a real tree, that could result in a lot of time cleaning up pine needles as they fall off the tree.

Easy Christmas tree disposal with LITTA

If you want to dispose of your old Christmas tree quickly and without the hassle of dragging it to the curb, then the best option is to use our collection service at LITTA.

We’ve got more than 200 licensed and fully insured drivers who can come and remove your old tree directly from your home and take it to the local waste and recycling centre for you.

With a few clicks online you can be ready to have your old Christmas tree removed and disposed of in a few minutes.

You can even get a same day collection so you don’t have to spend hours brushing up pine needles while waiting for your pick-up.

Plus, with real-time tracking you can monitor the progress of your collection straight to your doorstep so you don’t have to worry about waiting around all day.

Book your Christmas tree removal with LITTA.

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