How to recycle your Christmas tree

Posted at 7:29 PM, Dec 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-28 14:00:04-05

Several cities in Colorado have started their Christmas tree recycling programs. 

-- Denver -- 

Denver is starting later than other cities, as this year's program will run Jan. 4 through Jan. 15, 2016.

By recycling your tree through Denver’s Treeycycle program, you can help keep trees out of the landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create mulch that is available to Denver residents for free at the Annual Treecycle Mulch Giveaway & Leafdrop Compost Sale in the spring.

Here’s how to recycle your Christmas tree:

  1. Remove all decorations, lights, and the tree stand.Natural (real) trees only! NO artificial or flocked trees.
  2. Set your tree out for collection during the two-week Treecycle collection period (January 4 - 15). Christmas trees are collected by tree-only collection trucks during this period.
  3. Reclaim free mulch made from your tree at the Annual Treecycle Mulch Giveaway & LeafDrop Compost Sale in the spring!

Manual & Cart customers should set trees out at their regular trash set out locations by 7 a.m. on their trash collection day during the week of January 4th or the week of January 11th. Dumpster customers should set trees in the alley by 7 a.m. on either Monday, January 4th or Monday, January 11th and the trees will be removed during that week.

Do not place trees in trash carts or dumpsters. Trees placed in trash carts or dumpsters are mixed in with other trash and do not get recycled. Instead, trees should be placed at least two feet away from dumpsters, carts and other obstacles so that they can be accessed by the special tree-only collection trucks.

Last year, Denver residents recycled nearly 20,000 trees. 

For more information about Treecycle, the Annual Treecycle Mulch Giveaway and LeafDropCompost Sale, or other Denver Recycles programs call 311 (720-913-1311) or visit

-- Aurora -- 

From Dec. 26 through Jan. 13, the city of Aurora will receive trees at the following locations:

  • Del Mar Park, 12000 E. Sixth Ave.
  • Olympic Park, 15501 E. Yale Ave.
  • Saddle Rock Golf Course, 21705 E. Arapahoe Road

Before bringing trees for recycling, you are asked to remove all nails, decorations and stands. Christmas tree recycling is offered for real trees only. No artificial trees will be accepted.

In addition, the city of Aurora will offer free mulch at the same locations, while supplies last, between Dec. 30 and Jan. 13. To take advantage of free mulch, simply bring a truck, bags, containers and shovels for self-loading.

Some homeowner's associations have green waste services provided by the curbside pickup company that include Christmas trees. For an additional fee, these companies can also pick up trees from households not in a homeowner's association with this service. Contact your trash removal provider for details.

For more information about tree recycling in the city of Aurora, contact the Forestry Division at (303) 739-7177 or visit Check the Aurora Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department's Facebook page for updates on the tree recycle program.

-- Douglas County --

Douglas County and its local municipalities have multiple locations where you can drop off your tree:

  • Bayou Gulch, 4815 Fox Sparrow Road, Parker
  • Challenger Regional Park, 17299 E. Lincoln Ave., Parker
  • Fairgrounds Regional Park, 500 Fairgrounds Drive, Castle Rock
  • Highland Heritage Regional Park, 9651 S. Quebec St., Highlands Ranch

Please remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel, garland, plastic wrap, tree stands, wire, rope, nails, etc. Also, please note that live trees with artificial snow sprayed on the branches cannot be mulched and will not be accepted.

For more information, please contact Douglas County Parks and Trails at 720-733-6990. Trees are accepted at the above locations any time from Dec. 26-Jan. 31. Mulch will be available on site while supplies last. Click here for additional municipal tree recycling locations in Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch and Parker.

-- Commerce City -- 

Six drop-off sites will be open for you to recycle your tree this holiday season through Jan 7, 2016:

  • Fairfax Park, 6850 Fairfax Drive, at the north parking lot along 69th Avenue
  • River Run Park, 11515 Oswego Street, at the small parking lot
  • Recreation Center, 6060 Parkway Drive, at the west side parking lot
  • Municipal Services Center, 8602 Rosemary Street, at the entrance south of the soccer fields
  • Buffalo Run Golf Course, 15700 E. 112th Avenue, near the maintenance building
  • Future Second Creek Park site, corner of 100th Avenue and Laredo Street 

Trees should be natural and free of all ornaments, decorations and stands. Wreaths, tree limbs, synthetic trees, bushes and shrubs are not accepted at the drop off sites. 

Last year, 522 trees were recycled and used for mulch along city greenways and trails. 

Contact Willis Waterhouse, parks maintenance supervisor, with questions at (303) 289-8111.

-- Adams County --

Adams County Parks and Open Space will accept Christmas trees from Adams County residents for recycling from Monday, December 28, through Monday, January 11, at the Adams County Regional Park, 9755 Henderson Road, Brighton.

The Regional Park will accept trees from sunrise until sunset daily. Residents can follow the posted signs at the park to the self drop-off site.

Ornaments, tinsel, garlands, flock, nails and stands must be removed before dropping the trees off. There is a limit of two trees per family. Please note that absolutely no tree limbs, yard waste or trees from commercial operations will be accepted at the Regional Park.

For additional information, county residents are encouraged to call the Parks Department at 303-637-8000 or go to the county web site at

-- Fort Collins -- 

The City of Fort Collins will host its annual Christmas tree recycling program with a new Fossil Creek Park drop-off location. The Christmas tree recycling program runs Dec. 26 through Jan. 18. Drop-off sites include: 

  • Edora Park, 1420 E. Stuart St. (Tennis court parking lot)
  • Larimer County Landfill, 5887 S. Taft Hill Road (Mon. - Sat., 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
  • Rolland Moore Park, 2201 S. Shields St. (Southeast corner of the parking lot)
  • Fort Collins Streets Facility, 625 Ninth St. (Southwest corner of Vine Drive and Lemay Avenue)
  • NEW! Fossil Creek Park, 5821 S. Lemay Ave. (enter from Lemay Avenue)
  • Wellington Recycling Drop-Off Site, Town Garage (Corner of Sixth Street and Grant Avenue)

Collected trees will be chipped on site and processed into wood mulch for residential use. All decorations must be removed from trees prior to drop-off to ensure contamination-free recycling. NO wreaths, ornaments, tinsel, hooks, nails, plastic bags, or artificial trees will be accepted.

More information may be found here or here.

-- Broomfield -- 

The City and County of Broomfield’s Forestry Department set up seven collection sites throughout the city where Christmas trees can be dropped off and recycled: 

  • Anthem Community Park – The drop-off is ½ mile east of Lowell Boulevard and Sheridan Parkway, on the far east side of the parking lot.
  • Broadlands Park West - Sheridan Blvd. and Meadow Mountain Dr. The tree drop-off is on the northwest side of the parking lot.
  • Bronco Park - Westlake Dr. and Grove Cir. The tree drop-off is north of the backstop.
  • Broomfield Recycling Center – 225 Commerce St. The tree drop-off are is marked and west of the building.
  • Community Park Ball Fields - Community Park Rd. and Spader Way. The tree drop-off is west of George Hall Field.
  • Lac Amora Park - Miramonte Blvd. and Oak Cir. North. The tree drop-off is north of the playground.
  • Meridian Park - McKay Cir. and Park Cove Way in McKay Landing. The tree drop-off is located west of the backstop.

These trees will be chipped into mulch. The mulch will be available for use and can be picked up at the Broomfield Recycling Center. 

The collection sites are marked with signs and orange fencing. Before leaving the tree at the collection site, please be sure to remove all lights, ornaments, tree stands, nails, and any objects that could damage the wood chipping equipment. The collection sites are intended for Christmas trees only. PLEASE -- no wreaths, garland, yard waste, tree branches, or other wood products.

The collection sites will remain open through Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. 

Residents may drop off their trees at these sites at any time. After the drop-off sites are closed, Christmas trees may be dropped off at the Tree Branch Recycling site at 225 Commerce Street on Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., or Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free mulch is available at the Broomfield Recycling Center, 225 Commerce Street, seven days a week/24 hours a day. Please bring containers and tools to load (shovels, pitch forks) as the site is self-serve. For additional information please contact: Tom Wells, Forester City and County of Broomfield at (303) 464-5651. 

-- Lakewood --

The City of Lakewood will offer tree recycling from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Dec. 28 through Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016.  Tree drop-off will take place at the Lakewood's Greenhouse, 9556 W. Yale Ave. The greenhouse is located between Estes and old Kipling streets. Please follow posted signs and drop trees in the designated area.
Tree recycling is free for Lakewood residents, and trees dropped off for recycling must be free of all wire, ornaments, nails and tinsel. This service handles Christmas trees from residents only; wreaths, garland and trees from private contractors will not be accepted. For more information, please call 720-963-5240.


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