Chrismas presents under the tree

Recycling Tips: Christmas Trees, Wrapping Paper, etc.

Dried out trees must go!

After the holiday, you may be left wondering what's the best way to dispose of your Christmas tree, wrapping paper, and all that cooking grease!

The City encourages recycling to keep these items out of the landfill and help protect our environment. Here's how you can have a greener holiday:

  • Christmas trees: Raleigh residential customers can leave their bare Christmas trees (no decorations, no lights, no tinsel, no tree stands, please) at the curb and our yard waste crews will pick up. Your tree will be turned into mulch for our local parks. Real trees only, please! Artificial trees cannot be recycled. Find your garbage, recycling and yard waste service day 
  • Wrapping paper: Put wrapping paper and greeting cards in your blue recycle cart, as long as they have no foil or glitter. Remember:no bows or tissue paper in the recycle cart.
  • Boxes: Remove all styrofoam packing and plastic wrap and flatten boxes before you put them in the recycle cart. Extra-long boxes should be broken down into smaller pieces so they fit inside the cart.
  • Cooking grease: Help keep kitchen grease out of the drain. Through Jan. 15, 2020, Raleigh residents and places of worship can leave used cooking oil curbside in clear plastic containers and the City will collect it at no charge. You must call 919-996-3245 to schedule a grease collection.

Important tip about Christmas lights: Please do not put Christmas lights in your recycle cart! They make a tangled mess and force the recycling equipment to a grinding halt. You can recycle Christmas lights anywhere that accepts electronics for recycling or put them in the trash.

Don't have a Christmas tree fire. Dried out trees must go!

Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasingly flammable as they continue to dry out in your home. More than one-quarter (29%) of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they’re much more likely to be serious.

Christmas tree fires can turn devastating and deadly within seconds

A live Christmas tree burn conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows just how quickly a dried out Christmas tree fire burns, with flashover occurring in less than one minute, as compared to a well-watered tree, which burns at a much slower rate.

The Raleigh Fire Department is encouraging everyone who has a natural Christmas tree to remove them from your home no later than January 1.  Over time natural Christmas trees dry out and present major fire risk which will harm your family and house.  

Raleigh residential customers can leave their bare Christmas trees (no decorations, no lights, no tinsel, no tree stands, please) at the curb and our yard waste crews will pick up. Your tree will be turned into mulch for our local parks. Real trees only, please! Artificial trees cannot be recycled.