Philadelphia Christmas tree recycling now through Jan. 14

- Philadelphia’s Residential Christmas Tree Recycling Program is now underway and it’ll continue for two weeks, through Saturday, Jan. 14.

It gives provides people an environmentally beneficial alternative for the disposal of used trees.

People can drop off trees to be recycled at Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers. They’re open Monday through Saturday, 8am to 6pm.

Locations are:
--3033 S. 63rd Street
--2601 W. Glenwood Avenue
--Domino Lane & Umbria Street
--5100 Grays Avenue
--State Road & Ashburner Street
--3901 N. Delaware Avenue

Also, there will be these 23 designated locations to drop off Christmas trees on Saturdays, Jan. 7 and Jan. 14, from 9am to 3pm both days:
--66th & Haverford Ave.
--54th & Woodbine Ave.
--43rd & Powelton Ave.
--72nd & Buist Ave.
--Broad & Christian St.
--20th & Hartranft St.
--15th & Bigler St.
--Corinthian & Poplar St.
--American & Thompson St.
--Graver Lane & Seminole
--Cathedral & Ridge Ave.
--Washington Ln. & Ardleigh
--Upsal & Lowber St.
--Fisher & Ogontz Ave.
--5th & Chelten Ave. (water reservoir)
--Castor & Foulkrod St.
--1400 Cottman (Pennway & Cottman Ave. - Jardel Rec.)
--2901 Princeton Ave. (Mayfair Rec.)
--7901 Ridgeway St. (Fox Chase Rec.)
--8101 Bustleton Ave.
--2900 Comly Rd. – Palmer Playground
--7231 Torresdale Ave. – Russo Park
--Wayne Ave. & Logan St.

For a successful recycling program, make sure trees are untied and don’t have decorations. Christmas trees with decorations cannot be recycled. 

According to the Streets Department, Christmas trees present a seasonal addition to the city’s waste stream. By recycling them and returning them to the earth, we reduce our waste costs and create a valuable resource.

Besides recycling trees, you can follow these tips to reuse them:
--Small pine limbs and needles are good winter mulch material for sensitive plants.
--Trees can also become backyard compost.
--Trees should not be burned in a fireplace. The sap from the tree creates foul odors and can coat the chimney with creosote which can cause a fire.

Civic associations often offer additional drop-off locations.  Check with your local civic association on their Christmas tree recycling programs. Click here for a list of groups.

If you cannot participate in the recycling program, trees placed at the curb will be picked up as trash on the regularly scheduled collection day. They’re sent to a waste-to-energy plant, like everything collected at the curb.

The 28-year old program was developed by the Streets Department’s Sanitation Division. It’s for city residents who receive city-collected trash and recycling services. Vendors have to arrange for the private disposal of their discarded trees.

Besides Christmas trees, many more holiday items can be reused, reduced and recycled (the 3 Rs).

The city’s Recycling Office offers these suggestions. 

Recycle:
--Wrapping paper, tissue paper and gift tags by tying them up or placing in a brown paper bag for set-out.
--Glass wine and champagne bottles by rinsing them out, and placing them in your recycling container. You don’t need a blue bin-any sturdy metal or plastic container will do, up to 20 gallons.
--Other items that can be recycled include soda and beer cans, paper grocery bags, department store sale flyers and catalogs, telephone books and calendars, and New Year’s Eve paper confetti and ticker tape.

Reuse:
--Newspaper (It makes great wrapping paper, especially the colorful comic section.)
--Ribbons and bows
--Plastic gift cards
--Plastic grocery bags
--Gift bags

Reduce:
--Waste that reaches our landfills
--Using less tissue paper and decorations in your packaging
--Using less wrapping paper when wrapping your gifts

Call the Streets Department for recycling and more at 215-685-RECYCLE (7329), the Customer Affairs Unit at 215-686-5560, or click here or click here to see more online. Also, for all city services, you can call 311.

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