Christmas Tree Recycling and Holiday Waste Reduction

Helpful tips for holiday waste reduction and recycling.

Recycle your Christmas Tree

Christmas trees make excellent habitat for birds and other wildlife if left outside after the holidays. If you have enough space on your property, consider leaving your tree out to decay naturally over time.  If you know anyone with goats, talk to them–goats love to eat Christmas trees!

After the Holidays are over, you may also turn your tree into Merry Mulch by dropping it off for free until the end of January at the District Transfer Station in Middlebury. Trees will be chipped in the spring and mulch will be available to residents while supplies last. Please remove ALL ornaments, garland, and tinsel as these materials will contaminate the Merry Mulch.  NO wreaths please.

Curbside Christmas tree collection in Middlebury and Vergennes is sponsored each year by a variety of charitable organizations.  Please contact the District (388-2333) for collection dates as the holiday season approaches.

Tips for a Great and Green Holiday

  • When buying gifts to send by mail, choose items that are easy to ship and that don’t require excess packaging. Choose reused or recyclable cartons and packing materials. Old newspaper makes a terrific packing material!
  • Shop for gifts at antique stores, estate sales or flea markets; one person’s trash is another’s treasure! If buying, shop locally to save gas and support local businesses.
  • When the season is over, please recycle cardboard boxes and gift wrapping paper. Take your packing peanuts to one of the local businesses listed in our Trash and Recycling Guide. Call for your free copy today, 388-2333. Donate unwanted gifts to charity.
  • For toys that require batteries, choose re-chargable batteries where possible. When they lose their “juice” be sure to bring them to the Transfer Station for recycling.
  • OR, Instead of giving stuff (which we all have too much of anyway, right?) consider giving a gift of time: a long distance card, free baby sitting, a neck massage… Make cookies for a friend. Give
    magazine subscriptions; tickets to the theatre or movies; a plant grown form seed. Consider making a donation to charity in a loved one’s name.
  • Having a party? Consider renting seldom worn party clothes or buying them from a consignment shop. You can also rent dishes, linens and glassware, eliminating the need for disposables. Avoid disposable plates–serve finger foods. Use cloth napkins. Offer beverages In durable or recyclable containers, not styrofoam or plastic cups.
  • After the party, don’t throw away the leftovers! Package them and send them home with guests. Donate leftover groceries to your community food shelf. For what food’s left that is truly waste,
    compost what you can.
  • For kids, instead of toys, start a savings account or give stocks or bonds. It’s fun to watch money grow and it can teach children the value of financial conservation.

‘Tis the Season to Recycle

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Lots of trash lay in heaps ready to be tossed out.
The packages were wrapped with barely a thought,
That recycled gift paper could’ve been bought.

Comics and newspapers, that went in the trash,
Could have wrapped holiday gifts in a flash.
Cardboard boxes were bound for the landfill this winter,
They could’ve been recycled at a local drop center!

Greeting cards had been opened, then stuffed in the trash bags
When they’d made great postcards–or even gift tags!
Plenty of icicles and plastic hung on the tree
When pinecones and berries would look nice-naturally!

It was enough to make even old Santa shed a tear
“Another house that didn’t recycle, he sighed, “Maybe next year!”

– Poem Provided by Kimberly Lough, NC State University