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Reduce, reuse or recycle your live Christmas trees | Environment

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Reduce, reuse or recycle your live Christmas trees
Reduce, reuse or recycle your live Christmas trees

Does it make you sad to see your once-live Christmas tree waiting at the curb for the garbage truck? Beat the post-holiday blues by reducing, re-using or recycling your tree with these environmentally-friendly ideas from Hillsborough County.

• Yard Waste Processing Facilities

Hillsborough County solid waste customers can skip the hassle and work of cutting their live Christmas trees into smaller pieces for curbside pickup by taking trees directly to a Yard Waste Processing Facility. There, the trees will be recycled into mulch and other environmentally beneficial byproducts

The sites are open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Falkenburg Road/Resource Recovery Facility: 350 Falkenburg Road in the Brandon area. Phone: (813) 744-5599
  • South County: 13001 U.S. Highway 41, Gibsonton. Phone: (813) 671-7611
  • Northwest: 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave. Phone (813) 264-3816

Customers should bring their current tax bill and proper identification to access the Yard Waste Processing Facilities, and be able to unload the trees themselves. Customers should also remove all decorations, lights and tinsel. Artificial trees are not accepted at the yard waste sites.

Non-County residential solid waste customers can dispose of yard waste by paying a tonnage fee.  


Christmas trees placed in the backyard will provide a habitat for birds and other wildlife. To provide food for birds, hang suet or sliced fruit from the branches.


Chop or grind live Christmas trees and use as mulch around trees, shrubs and flower beds.


Christmas trees can be used as firewood for outside fires, not in a fireplace. Check municipal and County outdoor burning codes, as they can change depending on weather conditions. The tree must be allowed time to age, as burning sap can be smoky and hazardous. Freshly cut wood does not burn as well as aged wood.

Of course, curbside pickup of live Christmas trees is available to County solid waste customers by following these steps:

  • Remove all decorations, lights and tinsel
  • Cut the tree into sections no larger than 4 feet long and 6 inches in diameter, and
  • Place curbside on your regular yard waste collection day.

For more information regarding recycling live Christmas trees, contact: Lynn Barber, Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Agent, UF-IFAS Hillsborough County Extension, barberL@hillsboroughcounty.org, (813) 744-5519 ext. 54105.

For more information about Hillsborough County solid waste collection and disposal services, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/solidwaste, or call (813) 272-5680.

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