The statewide effort to recycle old Christmas trees starts on the day after Christmas and will run through nearly all of January.

Let's face it, you know that tree that's been in the corner of your living room for the past month is starting to get a little bit dry, and you've lost track of how many times a day you've had to sweep up fallen needles. It's officially after Christmas and just about time to give that piece of lumber the old heave-ho.

When you do decide to de-decorate your living room, state environmental leaders want to make sure you're aware of the state's Christmas tree recycling program. DNREC's Bill Miller says recycled trees will be accepted for free at a host of drop-off sites around the state. "We encourage everyone to establish or continue this eco-friendly tradition."

Think of it as re-gifting a tree to nature. "Recycling these trees that are a product of nature is a wonderful way of giving back to the environment," Miller says.

For the trees to be accepted, they must be completely free of any decorations including hooks, wire, tinsel and ornaments. Wood or metal tree stands must also be removed. For some years in the past, Delaware State Parks would accept Christmas trees, but they are no longer accepted at those locations.

In Kent County, trees will be collected curbside from January 6-17 on the regular trash day schedule for customers in trash districts that have yard waste collection service.

Delaware residents can drop off trees for free at the following locations:

In New Castle County,

  • Polly Drummond Hill Comunity Yard Waste Demonstration Site
    • In Pike Creek on Polly Drummond Hill Rd near Kirkwood Highway
    • Daily 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • South Chapel Yard Waste Site
    • Accepting waste at 10 Brookhill Drive until work on main entrance on Rt. 72 is done
    • 1034 S. Chapel Street, Newark
    • Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sat. 7:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    • Closed January 1 and 2
  • Copeland's Mulch Depot
    • Free if tree was purchased at Copelands; otherwise $2
    • 2 Honeysuckle Drive, Stanton
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    • Closed December 26 through January 3
  • Holland Mulch
    • 135 Hay Road, Edge Moor
    • Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    • Closed January 1 and 2 
  • Wilmington Organic Recycling Center
    • 612 Christiana Avenue, Wilmington
    • Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sat 6 a.m. - noon
    • Closed January 1

Sussex County

  • Blessings Greenhouse
    • 9372 Draper Road, Milford
    • Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Closed January 1
  • Blue Hen Organics
    • 33529 Fox Run Road, Frankford
    • Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    • Closed January 1
  • Grizzly's Landscape Supply Service
    • 18412 The Narrow Road, Lewes
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    • Closed January 1
  • Kaye Construction
    • 22288 Coverdale Road, Seaford
    • Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    • Closed December 26 through January 1
  • Selbyville Pet and Garden Center
    • Free for active customers within the last six months
    • 38205 DuPont Boulevard, Selbyville
    • Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    • Closed January 1
  • Stockley Materials
    • 25136 DuPont Boulevard, Georgetown
    • Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Closed January 1