How to recycle your Christmas tree in Columbia, SC

The holidays are over and you may be wondering how to recycle your Christmas tree around Columbia. We’re giving you several ideas on how to dispose of your holiday tree, including local drop-offs or providing nutrients to your gardens.


Recycle your Christmas trees | Photo by @capwasteservices

Table of Contents

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 recycle your Christmas tree.

Drop-off recycling

Drop the tree off yourself at Richland County + Lexington County’s recycling centers/yard waste drop-off centers. Be sure to properly secure the tree to your car if you opt for this route. Trees must be placed in clean wood waste containers to be recycled.

In Richland County — if your evergreen is less than four inches in diameter and less than four feet long, you can include this item in your yard waste pick-up.

If you participate in Lexington County’s Curbside Collection Program, this item is accepted for yard waste collection. Keep material separate from garbage and recycled items.

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 + take shelter. If your property includes a 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 anyway. So, why not use it for your own yard + spring garden? Ideally, you could shred the tree (for example, Home Depot has mulchers for rent), but usually by the time the holidays are over, the needles will already be falling off. You can spread them in garden beds or over the lawn.