According to Earth911, approximately 30 million real Christmas trees are purchased yearly in the U.S. The very best thing that neighbors who celebrate with trees can do is to consider a Living Holiday Tree. The beauty of a living tree can be enjoyed long after the holiday.
The next best option is to recycle. The City of Fort Lauderdale encourages neighbors to recycle their holiday trees this and every season. By recycling your tree, you help to reduce our City’s garbage disposal costs and the amount of waste going to the landfill or incinerators. Properly disposed of trees in the City of Fort Lauderdale are used to make compost.
The City makes holiday tree disposal easy by offering four eco-friendly options. In all cases, please:
- Remove all decorations prior to disposal. In general, holiday tree decorations are not recyclable. Please re-use them, donate them or dispose of them in your garbage cart. (See our reference chart at the bottom of this page.)
- Remove all lights, tinsel, nails, tacks, tree skirts and stands or any other non-organic materials.
- If you do not want to keep and re-use your decorations, consider donating them. Charities, schools and other organizations can often re-use decorations or break them down for use as art supplies.
- Strings of lights and battery-powered ornaments or tree toppers should be treated as e-waste.
- Other “living” decorations, such as fresh wreaths, garlands, door swags, and poinsettias (pot removed) can be disposed of in your green yard waste cart.
Option 1: Curbside Collection
Fort Lauderdale residents may place holiday trees curbside for pickup on scheduled yard waste collection days. The free service begins the week of January 1st and concludes on January 13th. This is an easy, eco-friendly method for disposal of fresh holiday trees .Trees that are placed curbside will be collected by Republic Services and transported to a yard waste processor where they will be composted. To participate in curbside collection, please remove tree stands, tinsel, lights, skirts, and ornaments from trees. Do not place the tree in any sort of bag. Set it out prior to 7:00 am on your yard waste collection day. Artificial greenery of any kind or flocked trees are not included in this special collection.
Option 2: Use your green yard waste cart.
Dispose of trees inside your green yard waste cart, as you would any tree branches and other plant material. Be sure that the cart lid can be closed completely. Cut the tree into pieces if necessary. No artificial greenery or flocked trees are allowed in the yard waste cart, please.
Option 3: Leave trees curbside for bulk trash pick-up.
Leave real or artificial trees NEXT TO the bulk trash pile, not mixed in with other items, on your regular collection day. Please place trees curbside no earlier than the evening before, or according to homeowner association guidelines. Remove all small parts. Discard decorations and small artificial elements in your black garbage cart, and small natural pieces in your yard waste cart. This helps to prevent litter from blowing around the street or down nearby storm drains.
Option 4: Chip-a-Tree Drop-off
If you do not want to wait for collection, you can take trees to one of Broward County’s designated parks as part of the Chip-A-Tree Program. Check the Chip-a-Tree webpage for this year’s schedule and designated locations. Drop off at designated locations only within the park between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. NO ARTIFICIAL TREES will be accepted. Only persons in personal vehicles will be allowed to leave trees; no truckloads. There is no fee. The parks' regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50 per person will be waived as an incentive for those recycling trees.
Please note: Artificial trees are not recyclable through City of Fort Lauderdale collection programs. Please re-use or donate them, and only dispose of them via garbage or bulk waste.
If you have questions about holiday tree disposal in the City of Fort Lauderdale, please contact our 24-Hour Customer Service Center at 954-828-8000.
Holiday Decoration Recycling
Click on the image below for more information.