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Christmas Tree-Cycling and Pick Up Around the Main Line

Your Christmas tree may be turning brown, but you can go green by recycling it!

Christmas tree-cycling at Philly Goat Project shows a goat nibbling an old Christmas tree while a little boy watches.

Ready for a new buzz word? Try this one out: Christmas tree-cycling! While most refuse companies and township public works departments pick up Christmas trees with regular trash pick-ups, there are also green options for your trusty tannenbaum! So before you toss your tree, consider giving it a second life with one of these environmentally friendly options. Or, find out when townships around the Main Line have scheduled their Christmas tree collections in 2024.

Christmas Tree-Cyling

The easiest place to tree-cycle your Christmas tree is in your own backyard! Simply prop it up against another tree or lay it on its side to provide habitat for bird populations during the winter months. To quickly attract birds, have your kids decorate it with peanut butter-filled pinecones, suet blocks, or birdseed ornaments. In the spring, cut off the branches and cut the trunk into smaller pieces to decompose in your yard. It will continue to provide food and habitat for other creatures such as insects, toads, and snakes!

If you don’t have the space or the inclination for Christmas tree-cycling in your own yard, not to worry. Bring it to one of these environmental centers that will put your Christmas tree to good use!

Upper Main Line YMCA – Environmental and STEM Education Complex 

1416 Berwyn-Paoli Road, Berwyn

Tree-cycle your Christmas Tree at UMLY! Rather than throwing it out and sending it to a landfill, UMLY will use the trees in a number of ways. They are used as winter wildlife habitat in their Cassatt Preserve, fed to their goats and sheep, and also woodchipped for their trails. Drop off your tree next to the greenhouse (behind the maintenance garage off of the Camp Loop Driveway) during normal facility hours at any time throughout this winter. Since the donated trees are fed to wildlife or used in for habitat, they must be completely cleaned of ALL ornaments, tinsel, and other decorations. For questions about Christmas tree-cycling, email mlampley@ymcagbw.org.

Philly Goat Project Christmas Tree-Cycling 2024

January 6th and 13th, 12–3 pm
Farm at Awbury Arboretum, 6336 Ardleigh Street  

January 20th, 12–2 pm
Laurel Hill West Cemetery, 225 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd

Here’s a cute Christmas tree-cycling option! For a suggested donation of $20 your Christmas tree will help benefit Philly Goat Project is so many ways. It will be eaten by the goats and/or turned into woodchips that help line the trails around Awbury Arboretum, the goats’ paddocks, or in parks around the city. And your donation will go towards the Philly Goat Project’s mission of using “Goats for the Greater Good” and providing free programming to the community. Other activities during the tree-cycle event will include farm exploration, a roaring fire pit, hot cocoa, and a petting area with the goats. What’s more, there will be a “Quiet Visiting Area” available for special friends.  

Althouse Arboretum

1784 Gilbertsville Road, Pottstown
January 6th & 7th, 2024 from 9 am–3 pm

Althouse Arboretum makes Christmas tree-cycling easy at their annual drive-through Christmas Tree Recycling Event. On Saturday and Sunday, January 6th and 7th, just drive in with your Christmas tree and students will remove it from your car. The Arboretum will use the chipped trees for their trails. Please remove all ornaments and stands. There is no fee for drop-off, but donations are accepted.

Township Christmas Tree-Cycling and Pick-Up Service

Lower Merion Township

The Township collects Christmas trees (placed curbside) during the first two weeks in January on the regular refuse collection day. Residents may also dispose of Christmas trees at the Public Works Complex located at 1300 N Woodbine Avenue in Penn Valley, Monday through Friday 8 am–3 pm and Saturday 9 am–2:30 pm. All ornaments, stands and other decorations must be removed.

Narberth Borough

Put out your Christmas trees with regular yard and brush waste collection on Wednesdays. Be sure to remove all ornaments, decorations, and the stand.

Radnor Township

Artificial tree collection will take place on normal trash collection days. The township picks up natural Christmas trees during regular yard waste collection on Mondays. Be sure to remove all lights, decorations, ornaments, and the tree stand.

Upper Merion Township

Upper Merion Township is doing Christmas tree-cycling for its residents this year by collecting trees for composting. During the month of January, simply leave your tree on the curb and it will be collected by the township. All ornaments, lights, stands, and bags must be removed before disposal. Pick-ups after the month of January must be submitted through a request for service.

Lead photo courtesy of Philly Goat Project. Article updated by Beth Gilbert-Crowell.

Content Director, Main Line Parent & Philadelphia Family. Email me at pamela@familyfocus.org