Christmas tree recycling for Catholics

The Vatican Christmas tree is positioned in St. Peter's Square Dec. 5. The 82-foot-tall tree is a gift from people in the town of Waldmunchen in Germany's Bavarian region near the Czech border. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The Vatican Christmas tree is positioned in St. Peter’s Square Dec. 5. The 82-foot-tall tree was a gift from people in the town of Waldmunchen in Germany’s Bavarian region near the Czech border. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

If you’re one of those families who go against the secular grain by leaving your Christmas tree and other decorations up beyond the weekend after Christmas or after New Year’s, you still have some options for recycling. Tempe and Chandler’s tree recycling season lasts the longest.

  • Tempe — If the curbside option is not available, two drop-off locations are available 24/7 through Jan. 27. Drop off bare trees (no nails or decorations) at the Household Products Collection Center, (University Drive/Dorsey Lane) and the parking lot west of Kiwanis Park Recreation Center. Info and addresses.
    The trees will be chipped and recycled into compost materials.
  • Chandler — Curbside and 10 drop-off locations are available through Jan. 18. Drop off locations include eight parks, Snedigar Sportsplex and the Recycling-Solid Waste Collection Center. Drop-off site map.
    The trees will be chipped and used in park landscaping projects. You can also donate live potted Christmas trees. The city parks office will replant them. Drop them off at the City’s Community Center or residents can schedule a pick up by calling (480) 782-2745.
  • Queen Creek — The town offers a tree drop-off location south of the Municipal Services Building right after Mass (8 a.m.-noon) Jan. 5 and Jan. 12.
    The trees will be taken to a green waste recycling facility (unlike the regular curbside scheduled bulk collection which goes to the landfill). The Jan. 12 event also features an electronic recycling event. Computers, printers, TVs, refrigerators, freezers, clothing and more are eligible. Info.
  • Glendale — Six parks and a fire station offer tree drop-off sites through Jan. 12. Trees will be used for composting and mulch. Info.
  • Scottsdale — Residents and others looking to drop off their tree in Scottsdale can leave their tree up through the feast of the Epiphany, but most take it down by the Eve of the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The city’s Christmas tree roundup runs Jan. 6-11. Residential collection is Jan. 6 with drop-off services available 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 11 at Scottsdale Ranch Park or Eldorado Park, 2311 N. Miller Road.
    The trees will be turned into compost or mulch. Info or call (480) 312-5600.
  • Gilbert — Hetchler Park and Nichols Park will have designated bins for tree recycling weekdays through Jan. 7. Separate bins should be available for flattened cardboard boxes and stringed holiday lights. Both Gilbert Municipal Buildings (50 and 90 E. Civic Center Dr.) also have a collection box for string lights through the end of January. Info.

Read a Phoenix resident’s article on how Christmas tree recycling works. You can also search where to recycle your tree.


  1. When I saw “Christmas tree recycling for Catholics” I thought it was either a joke or some new theology. The ‘catchy’ heading for a public service announcement caught my eye. 😉 Glendale Sanitation will do my ‘Bulk Trash Collection’ in about two weeks, and they can do whatever they want with my dead leaves, tree branches, and dried out Christmas tree. Why do a ‘drop off’ when they do pick ups?


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