Five ways to recycle your Christmas tree

Last Updated : 21 Dec 2021
5 ways to recycle your Christmas tree 2

Christmas trees cannot be thrown out in kerbside rubbish or recycling wheelie bins. Christmas trees provide valuable organic material ideal for composting rather than being sent to landfill.

The best Christmas tree is one that can continue living in our environment, we suggest enjoying a live plant instead. By buying a potted tree you have the ability to plant it in your garden to enjoy for years to come. If you want to make it especially Kiwiana, you could buy a New Zealand Native such as a Pohutukawa. Native trees can also be donated to local community organisations for planting.

In case you’ve already bought a tree, we’ve put together a list of how you can dispose of the tree in the right way:

1.  Compost it in your garden bag

If you have a private garden bag or bin collection, check if they accept Christmas trees. Chopping the tree apart by separating the limbs from the trunk of the tree can help it decompose much faster. If you have access to a chipper, even better!

2.  Check with Christmas tree farms

Some Christmas tree farms accept trees purchased from anywhere, for free, to use for mulch or compost.

3.  Ask your Christmas tree supplier

If you’re using a Christmas tree collection service, check that they collect from inside your property (not the kerbside) and if they will put the tree to good use, such as for mulch or compost.

4.  Call your local transfer station

You can take Christmas trees to some transfer stations for a fee. Make sure you check opening hours and locations.

5.  Enjoy a live plant instead

Buy a potted traditional Christmas tree that can be planted in your garden afterwards. For a kiwi-style Christmas, choose a pohutukawa or other native tree.  After the festive season, plant it in your garden or donate it to a local community organisation for planting.

Don't be a grinch: dispose of it correctly

Councillor Linda Cooper reminds us to consider our neighbours and environment  this holiday season, saying,

“A real tree is a wonderful part of Christmas and if you choose one then it’s good to think about how you’re going to dispose of your tree in advance. Often we see Christmas trees dumped illegally on the side of the road, kerb or grass verges, which doesn’t make for a particularly clean, green Tāmaki Makaurau.  Some even get dumped in public parks or thrown into local waterways.

“Auckland Council would like to help you. If you don't know what to do with your tree, give us a call at 09 301 0101. If you see a dumped tree in your neighbourhood, please report it to us.”

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