Follow DOS Christmas Tree Recycling Program Guidelines
The city’s Department of Sanitation (DOS) will be conducting special collections for mulching and recycling of Christmas trees beginning on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, through Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. Trees are chipped, mixed with leaves, and recycled into compost for NYC’s parks, institutions, and community gardens.
This program makes getting rid of trees after the holiday much easier for you. The trees may simply be put at curbside anytime on any day during the collection period. But the trees have to be free of lights, ornaments, and plastic bags before being set out for collection or trees with these items will be collected as trash.
Recycling trees doesn’t just help the environment. It also helps eliminate the fire hazard posed by storing dried-out trees in your building overnight or longer. Here’s how the program works.
Trees Collected Dec. 30–Jan. 15
Tenants’ undecorated trees may be put out at curbside for collection in all boroughs on any day, including weekends and holidays, beginning Dec. 30, 2013, and running through Jan. 15, 2014. You don’t need to tie the trees up before placing them at the curb. DOS will collect the trees on an as-needed basis. But you must follow three recycling rules. If you don’t, DOS can refuse to pick up the trees.
- Remove all wires.
- Remove all decorations such as tinsel, lights, and ornaments from trees.
- Don’t place trees in plastic bags or Dumpsters. Owners with Dumpsters should place trees at the curb.
Regular Garbage Classification
DOS won’t issue violations for trees left at curbside during the recycling period. But as of Jan. 15, 2014, trees become regular garbage items. They can be put out for collection only after 8 p.m. the night before the regular DOS garbage collection day.
Tell Tenants About Recycling
You should notify tenants about the recycling requirements and include specific instructions for them about how to recycle their trees. Otherwise, after the holidays, you’re apt to find trees jammed into trash cans and compactor chutes. Also, remind tenants to remove all decorations, including tinsel. Some owners may choose to have tenants bring the trees to a designated area—such as a room in the basement or out to the curb. Other buildings provide a tree-removal service to tenants as a way to keep tenants from dragging trees along hallways and littering public areas with pine needles.