Recycling your Christmas tree in Lakeland

As much as we wish they were a year-round decoration, they have to come down sometime.

A Christmas mug with a lit Christmas tree in the background

After all, they can’t stay up forever.

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Sure, the holidays are all fun and games — but if you celebrate Christmas, you know that sooner or later you have to deal with that “Night of the Living Dead” tree in the corner. That doesn’t mean it’s dumpster-bound. Instead, we have some tips on how to put a once-living tree to good use.

Curbside pickup

The City of Lakeland will collect and recycle your tree for you. All you have to do is bring it to the curb for your neighborhood’s usual pick-up day. To make sure it gets properly processed, you’ll need to remove the tinsel, garland, tree stand, and ornaments before bringing it out.

Natural feeders

Give back to Mother Nature by making a natural bird feeder. Get creative with edible ornaments (think: orange-apple garlands and peanut butter pine cones), then set the tree out for birds to eat and take shelter. If your property includes a private pond or lake, you can toss in the tree to make a natural reef, giving local fish a home.

Make your own mulch

When you take a tree to a recycling center, they turn it into mulch. Why not use it for your own yard and spring garden? Home Depot has mulchers for rent to shred your tree, and falling needles can be spread in garden beds or over the lawn.

Did we bark up the wrong tree? If you’re looking to say goodbye to your artificial tree, consider donating to a local thrift, like Lighthouse Ministries, Salvation Army, or Goodwill. Holiday string lights can also be donated. If your string is looking burnt out, certain Lowe’s and Home Depot locations have bins where you can drop them off.

Wondering how to dispose of your packing materials, cardboard, and gift wrapping? Check out Lakeland’s Holiday Recycling Guide before you crack open those green and blue bins.

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