Don’t trash that tree! How to dispose of holiday trees in Huntsville

single-meta-cal December 28, 2023

The holiday season is all about giving back – why not give back to the environment?

The City of Huntsville offers multiple ways to dispose or recycle your tree after the holidays have come and gone. Whether it’s curbside pickup or participating in Operation Christmas Cleanup, we’re committed to Green Team’s mission of “environmental excellence” and responsibly disposing of trees.

Out front

A barren Christmas tree lays on the curb of the road next to a garbage can.

Trees should be left curbside next to your City-issued trash cart.

The City’s Sanitation crews will pick up live trees and other holiday-themed materials as part of its normal, curbside pickup program.

Sanitation Manager Keith Robertson says the department also picks up boxes for large items like TVs, as long as they’re broken down – and there are two good reasons for that.

“Make sure all holiday wrappings and similar materials are bagged like normal trash,” Robertson explained. “The broken down boxes are more compact for our trucks, but it also keeps potential thieves from learning what you got for Christmas.”

Due to Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on a Monday, trash pickup will shift by one day.

Thinking green

A green graphic for Operation Christmas Cleanup on Saturday, January 6, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you don’t want to trash your live tree, join Green Team and other community partners at “Operation Christmas Cleanup” Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year’s event is open at two locations: John Hunt Park, 2315 Airport Road, and Madison City Schools Stadium, 211 Celtic Drive.

“Bring us your live trees, flattened cardboard, batteries and electronics,” said Brian Walker, the City’s Director of Landscape Management. “This is the best way to make sure these items make it out of the house in an environmentally friendly way.”

According to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), recycled trees can be used for mulch for gardens or street tree beds, hiking trails and even animal feeders. Trees recycled at Operation Christmas Cleanup will fill mulch beds at City of Huntsville facilities!

Just remember – artificial trees, lights, ornaments, Styrofoam, packing materials, plastic bags and wrapping paper will not be accepted at the event.

The rain date for the event is Saturday, Jan. 13. For more information, contact Green Team at 256-532-5326 or