Time to start thinking about getting rid of that Christmas tree

Time to start thinking about getting rid of that Christmas tree
Photo courtesy Flickr user che 0 (Creative Commons).

The holidays are over and if you have a live Christmas tree, you'll need to figure out how to dispose of it so it doesn't become a fire hazard. Not to worry - we've put together some information to help you out. You can also call Metro's recycling hotline at (503) 234-3000 with any questions.


First Step - Prep Your Tree


To get started, make sure you prepare your tree properly - remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands and any other materials. Most trees are ground up as part of the recycling process and foreign material can ruin a chipping machine. And go ahead and include your wreath or swag - just remove any extras that are on them. And keep in mind that some places might not accept flocked trees.


Find a Place to Recycle Your Tree


For the Portland area, Metro has an online database that can help you quickly find a recycler that will take your Christmas tree. It's a comprehensive list that will even tell you where the Boy Scouts will be collecting trees and give you options to support other non profits.

In the Vancouver area, Clark County has a list of tree recyclers that you can check out.


How to Recycle with Your Normal Garbage Pickup


If you plan to recycle at the curb, there are special instructions depending on where you live:

Banks

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Beaverton

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Canby (inside city limits)

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Clackamas County

  • Unincorporated inside the Urban Growth Boundary - A Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pickup outside the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands.

Clark County

  • Clark County, Vancouver, Ridgefield, Camas, Battle Ground, Yacolt, and Washougal yard debris curbside recycling customers may set out tree (5 feet or less) in or next to their yard debris cart on regular yard debris collection day. The yard debris cart should be placed next to the tree. If tree is in addition to the 96-gallon limit of yard debris, a fee of $2.12–$3.05 will be charged depending on your collection area.

Cornelius

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Damascus

  • For customers with yard debris collection service, a Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pickup outside the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands.

Fairview

  • Tree can be placed out in lieu of regular yard debris on scheduled pick-up day at no extra charge. Flocked trees cannot be recycled curbside. Stands, ornaments, and other foreign matter must be removed.

Forest Grove

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Gladstone

  • A Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pickup outside the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands.

Gresham

  • Trees can be recycled in place of regular yard debris at no extra charge. Trees taller than 6 feet should be cut in half. All trees collected in place of yard debris must be shorter than 8 feet. Customers with trees taller than 8 feet should contact their waste hauler. Flocked trees are accepted. Trees cannot be placed out with tinsel, ornaments, stands or other foreign objects. Wreaths and garlands can be placed in yard debris carts if frames, wires and other non-organic matter removed.

Happy Valley

  • A Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pickup outside the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands.

Hillsboro

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container, an extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

King City

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 5 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Lake Oswego

  • Inside the Urban Growth Boundary - A Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pick up that is not in the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands.

Milwaukie

  • A Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pick up that is not in the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands.

Molalla

  • Inside city limits - Trees can be set out on collection day for 2-3 weeks after Christmas, no charge for pick up. If the tree is taller than 8 feet, cut it in half.

North Plains

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Oregon City

  • Inside the Urban Growth Boundary - A Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pickup outside the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands.

Portland

  • If you have curbside collection service from your garbage and recycling company, you can put out the whole tree at your curb on your collection day. Haulers charge $4 for trees shorter than 8 feet and $6 for taller trees. Trees will not be accepted with garbage and will only be accepted with yard debris/food scraps. If placing in your yard debris/food scraps roll cart, limbs must not poke above the lip of the cart; weight limit is 100 pounds. Put extra bundles or cans at the curb on your collection day. Your yard debris/food scraps roll cart is picked up for no fee. Each additional bundle or can is $3.75.

  • Maywood Park residents - If you have curbside yard debris service from your garbage and recycling company, you can put out the whole tree at your curb on your yard debris day. Haulers charge $4 for trees shorter than 8 feet and $6 for taller trees. Trees will not be accepted with garbage and will only be accepted with yard debris. If placing in your yard debris cart, limbs must not poke above the lip of the cart; weight limit is 100 lbs. Put extra bundle(s) or can(s) at your curb on your yard debris day. Your green roll cart is picked up for no fee. Each additional bundle or can is $2.50.

Sandy

  • Inside city limits - A Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pickup outside the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands. Please note: The Clackamas County Garbage and Recycling Transfer Station (formerly known as the Sandy Transfer Station) only accepts trees as garbage. Customers will be charged the garbage rate.

Sherwood

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Tigard

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Troutdale

  • Trees shorter than 6 feet will be collected by Waste Management in place of regular yard debris at no extra charge. Trees do not need to be placed in the yard debris carts. If your tree is taller than 6 feet, you may cut the tree into pieces shorter than 6 feet or call Waste Management at 800-808-5901 for collection costs and arrangements. There will be an extra fee of $4.25 for any additional yard waste collected the same week as your tree. Please, no flocked trees, tinsel, stands, or ornaments.

Tualatin

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.

Washington County

  • Trees can be recycled in yard debris carts. If placing tree pieces in your cart, cut tree into small enough pieces to fit so they are able to fall freely when tipped into the truck. Trees can be set out in lieu of yard debris container. If your cart is full, you can set out trees shorter than 6 feet tall as additional yard debris materials. An extra yard debris charge will be assessed. Trees must be free of tinsel, stands, ornaments and other added materials. Wreaths can be placed in the yard debris cart with the frames, wire and other non-organic material removed.
  • In rural unincorporated Washington County where no yard debris pick-up is established, residents may use a yard debris-processing facility or check with local nonprofits about Christmas tree drop-off and pick-up events. Residents may also check with their haulers about picking up Christmas trees for a fee.

West Linn

  • Inside the Urban Growth Boundary - A Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pick up that is not in the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands.

Wilsonville

  • A Christmas tree counts as a regular yard debris set-out. It must fit into your yard cart with the lid closed. If it doesn't, cut it in half or thirds and put it out in the yard debris cart the next week or the week after if needed. Trees set out for pick up that is not in the yard debris cart may incur an extra charge. Flocked trees are OK. No tinsel, decorations or stands. Commercial/multifamily customers and curbside customers outside the urban growth boundary are encouraged to use Boy Scout tree recycling service.

Wood Village

  • Curbside customers may recycle their trees in place of regular yard debris set out at no extra charge. It is appreciated if trees over 6 feet tall are cut in half. All trees collected in place of yard debris must be shorter than 8 feet tall. Please contact your hauler if yours is more than 8 feet tall. Flocked trees are acceptable. Trees with tinsel or ornaments may not be recycled; please remove those items.