Where & How To Recycle Your Holiday Crap This Year

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It’s that time of year again, when the holiday trimmings start coming off, get put into big plastic storage bins in the shed or garage, leaving behind a dilapidated and dried up, dangerously flammable Christmas tree with no place to go.

And not only that, but you probably also have lots of cardboard boxes, Styrofoam and packing materials scattered about as well.

Here’s your B-Town Blog guide to how to recycle your holiday crap:


  • Boy Scout Troop #375 will be recycling trees on Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 2nd and 3rd) from 9am – 3pm.
  • Go to BTB Advertiser Herr Backyard Garden Center on SW 160th near First Ave South, and look for the Boy Scouts and wood chipper device.
  • $5 fee per tree.
  • Trees must be “clean,” meaning no tinsel, no forgotten ornaments, etc.
  • Call Herr Garden Center for more information: 242-2014.


  • Allied Waste provides curbside collection of Christmas Trees to single-family residential yard debris customers.
  • Yard Debris customers can set Christmas trees out on their regularly scheduled collection day.
  • Trees must be free of flocking, tinsel, ornaments and metal hangers, cut to 4′ lengths and tied into bundles less than 2′ wide.
  • Use biodegradable string or twine – no nylon, plastic or other synthetic materials.
  • Flocked trees are not recyclable and will not be accepted – put flocked trees in the garbage.


  • Allied Waste will be picking up Christmas trees for City of Des Moines residential curbside customers during the week of January 11 – 15 on the normal garbage pick-up day.
  • Place trees curbside, cut into 4′ lengths and tie into bundles no more than 2′ wide.
  • Tinsel, garland, and ornament hangers must be removed.
  • There will be no charge for this special pick-up.
  • Must be a garbage customer to be eligible.
  • Trees need to be cut into 4′ lengths and tied into bundles no more than 2′ wide.
  • Call Laura Techico with questions at 206-870-6595.


  • Waste Management also takes Christmas trees, but we suggest cutting yours in 4′ lengths and tie it into bundles less than 2′ wide, and perhaps even cutting it up and placing it inside your yard waste container.
  • Pacific Topsoils, Inc. in Tukwila allows Christmas tree drop-offs; Call for Hours (206) 772-3091; located at 6000 S 129th Street in Tukwila.
  • King County has several options for recycling Christmas trees. Call the King County Solid Waste Division Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

More suggestions from Sustainable Burien’s website:

  • Styrofoam: at the Sustainable Burien collection event on Thursday, Dec. 31st and Friday, Jan. 1 or at Styrorecycle any time. All Styrofoam must be clean. They’ll also take clean packing peanuts of all types. See their Events page for details.
  • Christmas Trees: In your yard waste (ornaments and other non-biodegradable items need to be removed, check with your waste collection company to see how much cutting you need to do) or at the above-mentioned Boy Scout Troop #375 tree-cycling event.
  • Boxes and wrapping paper: In with your regular recycling as long as you’ve removed ribbons, bows and any other non-recyclable material. Foil wrappings, wrapping with embedded material and other non-paper wrappings are not recyclable.
  • Electronics: Under a Washington State law that went into effect Jan. 1, 2009, TVs, computers, monitors and laptops can be recycled for free at many locations. Usable, working items can be dropped off at most charities who will resell them. Dead or out-dated items can be recycled at a number of locations. Personally I suggest taking all electronics to RE-PC in Tukwila or South Seattle. They will resell what they can, and what can’t be sold is recycled properly and locally through Total Reclaim which is important. Some recycling locations ship material out of State or worse yet out of the country for “recycling” and that can cause big problems. See our archived tip for details. If all you’ve got is items that can’t be resold, save a step and take them all to Total Reclaim. Contact them to see what else they’ll take.
  • For other Holiday related items: see the links in the top right corner of the King County Solid Waste Page.

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