ENVIRONMENT

How to dispose of real trees and what to recycle post-Christmas in Utah

Dec 26, 2023, 12:16 PM

A person holds a Christmas tree branch...

Kris Watson, program manager at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, demonstrates how department employees inspect for bugs at a Christmas tree lot in West Jordan on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Now that Christmas morning mayhem is in the rearview mirror, it's time to part ways with your Christmas tree, if it's real. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— Now that Christmas morning mayhem is in the rearview mirror, it’s time to part ways with your Christmas tree, if it’s real.

In Utah, your options for tree disposal depend on where you live. Many cities along the Wasatch Front have designated tree disposal drop-off spots. This includes in West Valley City at West View Park and City Park from Dec. 29 through at least Jan. 5.

West Valley City Public Works Director Dan Johnson told KSL NewsRadio that West Valley City has a bulky pickup program. With this program, homeowners can leave their trees out for bulky pickup when it’s their designated day as long as the tree meets the city’s size requirements.

Riverton also has pickup sites and options for disposal on their “Keep Riverton Beautiful” website.

As another alternative to tree drop-off, Salt Lake City is encouraging residents to cut up their trees enough so they fit into a compost bin, which is collected on trash day.

Either way, Johnson said it’s probably best to not keep a potential fire hazard in your home longer than you have to.

post-Christmas recycling

Now, what about all that leftover wrapping paper? Should it go to the trash? Not always, according to Johnson.

He said most wrapping paper can be recycled so long as it doesn’t have ribbon, glitter or Styrofoam on it. He said when people recycle, it does make a difference.

“By recycling, … we’re able to reduce the amount of material that actually goes to a landfill,” Johnson said.

Johnson also said cardboard can be recycled. However, if there’s any doubt whether something should be recycled or not, Johnson said “just throw it away.”

“It’s really difficult for the recyclers to pull trash out of the waste stream,” Johnson said. “[It] ends up causing a lot of things that could be recycled to end up ultimately being discarded into a landfill.”

For any questions or specifics on tree disposal or recycling, head to your city’s website or contact city hall for help.

Keep reading: It’s a green Christmas for most of Utah

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How to dispose of real trees and what to recycle post-Christmas in Utah