Unless you’re bent on celebrating all 12 days of Christmas with your beloved evergreen, it is time to start thinking of hauling that tinderbox of brittle pine needles out of the house.
Many communities offer tree recycling programs. Proper preparation varies, depending on where you live and which hauling company serves your area. But one rule holds: Flocked trees cannot be recycled and must be placed in the trash. Trees also generally must be free of decorations.
Tacoma: The city will collect at the curbside as part of its regular yard-waste disposal pickup. Trees must be cut and placed inside the yard-waste container with the lid closed flat. Trees left next to containers will not be collected.
Tacoma homeowners, apartment dwellers and businesses also can dispose of undecorated, unflocked trees for free at the city landfill, 3510 S. Mullen St.
Trees can be dropped off from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. through Jan. 21. (The landfill is closed New Year’s Day.)
Apartment managers or landlords who collect tenants’ trees can drop them off all at once but are encouraged to call first at 253-591-5543. Tree lot operators and nonprofit groups must pay for disposal.
Puyallup: Trees can be recycled at the curb. “Treecycling” is scheduled for the week of Jan. 14 on customers’ regular garbage days. Remove the tree stand and ornaments, cut the tree into 4-foot sections and leave it at the curb no later than 7 a.m. on your scheduled day.
Lakewood and other areas served by LeMay Inc.: Yard debris customers can set their trees out on their regularly scheduled collection day. Trees should be cut into 4-foot lengths. The entire tree does not have to fit in the yard-waste can, but the can must be out for the driver to take the tree. There is no extra charge for the service, except for customers without regular yard-debris collection. Those customers should place cut-up trees next to their garbage can.
University Place and Fircrest: Cut up your tree and put it in your yard-waste container. If you are not a yard-waste customer, attach a tag with your name and address to the tree and set it out on your normal garbage day, when it will be picked up for an additional fee.
Milton: Cut up your tree into 4-foot sections and place in your yard-waste bin or at the curb on your regular garbage day during the week of Jan. 7. There is no additional cost for tree pickup.
Sumner, Buckley, Bonney Lake, Orting, South Prairie, Gig Harbor, Graham, South Hill and other areas of Pierce County served by American Disposal, D.M. Disposal or Murrey’s Disposal: Cut your tree into sections no longer than 4 feet and place it in your yard-waste container on your regular yard waste pickup day. Don’t place the tree on the ground next to the container, and don’t wedge it in too tightly because this will make it difficult to empty with the automated truck.
If you don’t have yard-waste pickup, garbage truck drivers will try their best to pick up trees. But there may be an additional charge for this service. If you live in unincorporated Pierce County and don’t have yard waste service at your home, you can deliver your tree to a drop-off site.
Pierce County transfer stations accept unlimited yard waste, including Christmas trees, for free. All facilities are closed New Year’s Day.
• Anderson Island: 9607 Steffensen Road. Open Monday 1-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
• Bonney Lake: 11710 Prairie Ridge Drive E. Open daily 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
• Gig Harbor/Purdy: 14515 54th Ave. Open daily 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
• Key Peninsula: 5900 Key Peninsula Highway N. Open Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
• Puyallup (South Hill): 17925 Meridian St. E. Open daily 8 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
Other tree-recycling facilities:
• Lakewood: LRI, 10308 Sales Road S. Call 253-589-6993 for more information.
• Steilacoom: Public Works Utility Yard, 1030 Roe St. Boy Scouts from Troop No. 71 will accept trees on Jan. 5 and 6 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. A $3 donation per tree is suggested.