Need to dispose of a tree? Here’s how

The time has come to get rid of the Christmas tree that’s deteriorated from symbol of holiday cheer to fire hazard. Here’s where and how to dispose of it around Pierce County:

▪  Pierce County residents can recycle unflocked Christmas trees in their container if they have yard waste collection service, and other residents can recycle trees for free if they haul them to transfer stations in Pierce County. Flocked trees can’t be recycled and must be disposed of as garbage.

For trees to be recycled, residents must remove all tinsel, decorations, nails and staples.

If the tree isn’t in the container, residents may be charged for additional pickup.

“All trees collected are composted into Cascade Compost, a beneficial soil amendment that is popular with home and commercial gardeners,” said Sheryl Rhinehart, the county’s Public Works outreach coordinator, in a statement. “The compost created enhances soil quality, saves water, and reduces reliance on chemical fertilizers. Treecycling also helps save valuable landfill space.”

▪  Tacoma residents and businesses can get rid of undecorated and unflocked trees by taking them to the landfill at 3510 S. Mullen St. with the exception of Friday (Dec. 25) and New Year's Day, when it’s closed. Hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Residents also can cut up trees and place them in their brown yard-waste containers for pickup.

▪  Residents within the city limits of Puyallup, Milton, and Orting who are serviced by D.M. Disposal have an organized tree collection schedule included in the monthly service cost. Customers may place unflocked trees inside provided yard waste containers. All decorations must be removed.

Customers without yard waste containers can set their trees out on the regularly scheduled garbage day for disposal. The tree must be left no more than 5 feet from the curb or sidewalk by 7 a.m. on the regularly scheduled pickup days. In Puyallup and Milton, pickups will happen the week of Jan. 4; in Orting, they will happen the week of Jan. 11.

Residents with questions or those who aren’t serviced by D.M. Disposal can contact their city hall or waste disposal company for more information.

▪  Ruston has a special collection program. Residents can contact their city hall or their waste disposal company for more information.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682, @KariPlog