Area recycling options for live Christmas trees

Christmas trees today, mulch tomorrow. While it’s a long fall from the glory of a fully decorated tree, these beauties still have a useful destiny. These are awaiting the chipper at the Agricenter, now through Jan. 9, and they will be given back to Shelby County residents as mulch during spring and fall events. Photo by Amanda Swain.

Christmas trees today, mulch tomorrow. While it’s a long fall from the glory of a fully decorated tree, these beauties still have a useful destiny. These are awaiting the chipper at the Agricenter, now through Jan. 9, and they will be given back to Shelby County residents as mulch during spring and fall events. Photo by Amanda Swain.

That dried-out live Christmas tree that once looked so crisp and smelled so wonderful has to go out the door when the strings of lights come down and the ornaments are packed away for another year. Shelby County and local suburban governments are clear about how they can help with disposals.

In Bartlett, residents can simply place their trees on the curb on their regular pickup day. It’s important to remove all ornaments and decorations, even strands of tinsel. Failure to do so means the city won’t put the tree through the chipper. For those recycled, the resulting mulch will go onto the city’s flowerbeds as needed.

Lakelanders can put their trees curbside as well if the trees aren’t over four feet tall. People who have taller trees don’t need to feel excluded, though: The city accepts larger Christmas trees as long as they are cut into pieces no more than four feet long. The city recommends that trees be placed out for disposal within the first three weeks of the new year.

Arlington’s contractor for solid waste and refuse collection also accepts live trees left on the curb for pickup, and the size can be up to eight feet tall. Larger trees must be cut into pieces no bigger than that for pickup.

For any county residents who want to drop off their old live Christmas trees, Shelby County is again operating a recycling center for discarded holiday trees and greenery at the Agricenter in early 2018. The designated area is near the Snowplace Arena at 105 S. Germantown Road. The items must be free of lights and decorations. Jan. 9 is the deadline for drop-offs.

The recycling initiative, now in its 19th year, is part of Shelby County’s Sustainable Shelby program, which focuses on ways to conserve energy and protect natural resources. Mulch made from the greenery will be available to citizens next spring and fall during Earth Day or America Recycles events.

Another option open through Jan. 29 is to recycle your tree and support the Memphis Botanic Garden. The Yard, a Memphis recycling and composting facility, accepts trees free of charge to be recycled into reusable materials. In return, the company will donate $5 for every tree when you mention Memphis Botanic Garden, so this means donors help keep materials out of the landfill while supporting the Garden’s environmental efforts. The Yard is at 1735 Thomas Rd., just off Covington Pike and Pleasant View. Hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. For details, call (901) 833-9273.


CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to carolyn.bahm@journalinc.com.

Photo by Amanda Swain.

Photo by Amanda Swain.