A few weeks after the holidays end that Christmas tree that brightened up your living room and brought warm fuzzy feelings will turn into a scraggly menace that spews dry pine needles all over your carpet. Before your tree starts terrorizing your living room and ruining the fun holiday memories you made with it, you could recycle it with Denver’s annual treecycle program.
From January 6 to January 17, the city will be picking up trees to recycle. Here is how to participate:
Step 1: Make sure your tree is a real tree and not an artificial one. Artificial trees cannot be recycled.
Step 2: Remove all of the lights and ornaments and wrestle the tree out of the tree stand.
Step 3: Put the tree outside in your normal trash set-out location on your normal trash day before 7 a.m. Set it at least two feet away from other waste containers.
Step 4: Pick up some free mulch your tree helped make at the city’s annual compost sale in the spring.
If watching your tree slowly waste away through mid-January is some sort of annual tradition for you, you can still recycle your tree through Jan. 30 by dropping it off yourself at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off (7352 E. Cherry Creek Drive South) or at the Havana Nursery (10450 Smith Road).
Outside the Denver area? Here are some other resources courtesy of Colorado Public Radio:
Arvada: The city will accept trees for recycling anytime through Jan. 19.
• Lake Arbor Lake Park, 6400 Pomona Drive
• Stenger Fields at West 58th Avenue and Oak Street
Aurora: The city offers three drop-off spots for tree recycling.
• Del Mar Park, 12000 E. Sixth Ave.
• Saddle Rock Golf Course, 21705 E. Arapahoe Road
• Olympic Park, 15501 E. Yale Ave.
Castle Rock: Drop-off trees any time through Jan. 31.
• Founders Park, 4671 Enderud Blvd.
• Metzler Ranch Community Park, 4175 Trail Boss Drive
• Paintbrush Park, 3492 Meadows Blvd.
Colorado Springs: The El Pomar Youth Sports Park offers seven locations to drop-off natural trees with a suggested donation of $5 that will go to area youth sports and service organizations, according to its website.
Dec. 28-29 and Jan. 4-5, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the following locations:
• Baptist Road Trailhead, Baptist Road and Old Denver Highway
• Falcon Trailhead, SW of Woodmen Road and McLaughlin Road
• Cottonwood Creek Park, Dublin Boulevard and Montarbor Road
• Sky Sox Stadium, Barnes Road and Tutt Boulevard
• Rock Ledge Ranch, Gateway Road and 30th Street
• Memorial Park, Pikes Peak Avenue and Union Boulevard
Jan. 2-31, Weekdays 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at this single location:
• 1755 E. Las Vegas St.
Denver: Set your trees out at least 2 feet away from your waste bins by 7 a.m. on your scheduled trash collection day between Jan. 6 and 17 and Denver will pick up your tree for free. Plus, you can come back in May and pick up free mulch made from your tree at the annual Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale. In 2018, Denver collected over 21,500 trees for recycling.
You can also drop off your tree until Jan. 31:
• Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-Off, 7354 E. Cherry Creek Drive S.
• Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
• Havana Nursery, 10450 Smith Road
• Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Closed on weekends.
Douglas County: Drop-off trees any time through Jan. 31.
• Bayou Gulch, 4815 Fox Sparrow Road, Parker
• Challenger Regional Park, 17299 E. Lincoln Ave., Parker
• Fairgrounds Regional Park, 500 Fairgrounds Drive, Castle Rock
• Highland Heritage Regional Park, 9651 S. Quebec St.
Fort Collins: Live Christmas trees will be accepted at three locations. Be advised that fees may apply.
• Timberline Recycling Center, Hard to Recycle Materials Yard, 1903 S. Timberline Road
• Hageman Earth Cycle Inc., 3501 E. Prospect Ave.
• Larimer County Green Waste Program, 5887 S. Taft Hill Road
Greeley: Greeley and Weld County residents can recycle Christmas trees at the Greeley Organic Waste Center through Jan 31.
GROW Center, 1130 E 8th St.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday
Highlands Ranch: Drop-off trees any time through Jan. 17.
• Dad Clark Park, 3385 Asterbrook Circle
• Redstone Park, 3280 Redstone Park Circle
• Toepfer Park, 9480 Venneford Ranch Road
Mesa County: The county will compost your tree. Drop trees off at the county landfill (3071 U.S. Highway 50). Open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Parker: Drop-off trees through Jan. 29.
• Salisbury Park (East paved parking lot), 12010 S. Motsenbocker Road, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Vail: Public Works crews will pick up your tree for free through Jan. 31. The department says trees should be left whole and placed at the side of the road, not blocking the roadway. The trees are chipped and turned into mulch for the town’s summer landscaping program. Or drop off your tree: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday—Friday at the Public Works shops on Elkhorn Drive north of the Vail golf course.