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Posted on: December 18, 2018

Christmas Tree Composting Guidelines

Christmas Tree

Every year, thousands of Christmas trees end up in landfills because they are not properly composted. The negative environmental impacts of the holiday season can be reduced by planting a living tree, purchasing a reusable tree, and/or ensuring proper disposal of live Christmas trees. Trees are only compostable if they are free of all decorations, tinsel, nails, and tree stands (including wooden stands that are nailed to the bottom of the trunk). Additionally, any tree that is flocked with artificial snow contains fire retardant and cannot be composted. Trees that have decorations or tinsel cannot be composted and will be disposed of in the landfill.

The various ways to properly dispose of a Christmas tree in Fremont are listed below:

Gutter (Single-family homes only)

  • Republic Services curbside collection from December 31, 2018 to January 11, 2019.
  • If your tree is less than 6 feet in length, place the whole tree in the gutter on your collection day.
  • If your tree is over 6 feet in length, cut the tree in half and place both halves in the gutter on your collection day.
  • Make sure your tree is in the gutter, not on the sidewalk.
  • Check that your tree is free of all decorations when placed in the gutter to keep our storm drains litter-free.

Green Organics Cart

  • Cut the compostable tree so that pieces fit loosely in your organics cart with the lid closed.
  • Place the cart at the curb on your scheduled collection day.

Garbage Cart

  • Please use this option as your last resort; compost your tree first, if possible.
  • Cut up your tree containing flocking or decorations so that pieces fit loosely in your garbage cart with the lid closed.
  • Place the blue or black garbage cart at the curb on your scheduled collection day.

Drop-off at Republic Services

  • Between December 26, 2018 and January 11, 2019 take your Christmas tree to the Republic Services customer center located at 42600 Boyce Rd. in Fremont (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Compostable trees may be dropped off for free. Non-compostable trees may be dropped off at a $5 charge.

If you live in a multifamily complex, please contact your property manager to learn how your tree can be properly composted.

For more information, visit Fremont Environmental Services or contact the Environmental Services Division by e-mail or 510-494-4570.

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