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Christmas Tree Recycling

Natural Christmas trees can be recycled and made into useful mulch or compost. The Department encourages residents to recycle Christmas trees and save valuable landfill space. Christmas trees must be prepared for recycling, so please remove all decorations, tinsel, lights, and tree stands.

Flocked trees cannot be recycled and must be disposed of with regular municipal solid waste.

Recycling Locations

Riverside County Landfills

Christmas trees are accepted at Riverside County landfills.

Locations & hours

Fee schedule

  • Badlands and Lamb Canyon Landfills accept up to three (3) Christmas trees per household, for FREE, from December 26, 2018 through January 5, 2019. To qualify for free recycling, trees must arrive with all ornamentation removed and without artificial snow (flocking). Green Waste rates will apply after January 5, 2019.

  • Blythe, Oasis and El Sobrante landfills accept Christmas trees for disposal.  Green Waste rates apply.

  • Flocked trees taken to any landfill will be charged the Green Waste rates.

Greenwaste Recyclers

The locations listed below accept up to three (3) Christmas trees per household, for FREE, up to two weeks after Christmas. All trees must arrive with all ornamentation removed and without artificial snow (flocking).

A. Lua Wood Recycling, 18938 Mermack Avenue, Lake Elsinore, (951) 245-4497

Badlands Landfill, 31125 Ironwood Avenue, Moreno Valley, (951) 486-3200

B.P. John Recycling, 28700 Matthews Road, Romoland, (951) 696-1144

Burrtec Recycle Center, 41800 Corporate Way, Palm Desert, (760) 340-2113

Burrtec/Robert A. Nelson Transfer Station, 17041 Agua Mansa Road, Riverside, (951) 786-0544

Lamb Canyon Landfill, 16411 Lamb Canyon Road, Beaumont, (951) 486-3200

Curbside Pickup

Flocked trees cannot be recycled and need to be cut up and placed in your regular trash container.

Most trash service haulers will collect Christmas trees for recycling for two weeks after Christmas. For specific information, contact your trash service hauler

Place the prepared tree inside or next to the green waste container on your regular pick-up day.

Trees over 4 feet tall should be cut in half.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling Opportunities

Christmas and other holidays are typically huge, waste-generating times for everyone. However, with a little forethought they don’t have to be. Buying gifts and packaging with our earth in mind can be very easy and will alert others to your commitment to preserving our natural resources. Here are a few simple ideas to reduce your waste load and limit the amount of trash that goes to the landfill.

  • Reduce the gift wrapping load by giving gifts of entertainment such as movie or theater tickets or gift cards to restaurants.

  • Try to limit the amount of packaging gifts are wrapped in. Ask yourself “Does this gift really need a box?” Consider using gift bags or a beautiful fabric ribbon instead. They can be reused for years!

  • Christmas cards can be reused in a variety of ways, instead of being thrown away. The front can be used as a postcard to send to friends throughout the year. Or they can be used to decorate your house next year!

  • Be sure to compost food scraps from holiday meals, especially the traditionally unwanted fruit cake. Did you know a 1 year old fruitcake can still be composted?

  • Reuse all the packaging materials that you can, for example line a dresser drawer with wrap paper.

  • Buy gifts from recycled materials for your family. You will help to close the recycling loop and demonstrate to your loved ones your commitment to saving our precious natural resources.

  • Be sure to recycle your gift wrap and all cardboard packaging from gift giving.

  • Be sure to recycle your Christmas Tree! It can be ground up into valuable mulch used for ground cover or made into compost to enrich soil. Trees recycled at the Badlands and Lamb Canyon landfills will be processed into compost to ensure that organic waste is diverted away from landfill burial.

For more information on a green holiday season, visit the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) website at http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov or call 916-341-6500.

Field level help.


This information above is offered as a public service in an effort to eliminate illegal and improper waste disposal. As the information may not be comprehensive, the Department encourages the public to research additional companies that are available for the services sought. The companies are not affiliated, endorsed or regulated by the Department. Accordingly, as with any professional service, please confirm the accuracy of the company’s information and request copies or verification of the company's license and/or permits to provide the service, prior to utilizing its services. Under no circumstances, directly or indirectly, shall the Department be held responsible or liable for reliance on this information.  If you would like to include your company on the list, please contact Waste-Approval@rivco.org or call (951) 486-3200.