In the US, 50 million Christmas trees are purchased every year, and of those, 30 million go to the landfill after the holidays are over. There are many ways, however, to avoid the landfill and give your tree another life. Most cities have Christmas tree recycling programs and will grind Christmas Trees into mulch to use in city parks.
Metropolitan Nashville Department of Public Works kept 17,000 trees out of the landfill last year.
If you live in the Greater Nashville area, you have a few options to get rid of your tree sustainably.
Drop your tree off at one of Metro’s 11 approved drop-off locations between December 27 – February 16. For a complete list of drop of locations visit Nashville.gov.
Radnor Lake Natural Area and Wildlife Refuge accepts Christmas trees, which they grind up to mulch trails. Drop off dates are December 26-January 31.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee hosts an annual Christmas Tree Drive, December 26-January 2. Turn it into an educational road trip, and take your tree to The Elephant Discovery Center in downtown Hohenwald, featuring interactive exhibits in an outdoor classroom setting. *Elephants remain in their habitat and cannot be viewed from The Discovery Center*
Walden’s Puddle also accepts Christmas trees. Call 615-299-9938 and leave a message to make an appointment to drop off your tree.
Keep in mind, all trees must be cleared of all ornaments, lights, wire, string, tinsel and other decorations prior to donating.
If you’re looking to get rid of an artificial tree, give it to Goodwill, post it on Facebook marketplace, Freecycle it, or see if your local restaurant/shop wants to hang on to it for décor next year.