How to dispose of Christmas trees, lights after holidays

Photo of pine tree needles with City Logo in bottom corner

There are several ways to dispose of your tree and lights after the holidays.

Recycle lights

Recycle lights at or bring them to one of Hennepin County’s drop-off facilities.


Solid Waste and Recycling customers may leave their trees alongside their garbage carts before 6 a.m. on regular garbage day. If the tree is 6 feet or taller, it needs to be cut in half. (Trees are not accepted at compost facilities because some have chemicals sprayed on them to keep them greener longer.)

Residents who do not have collection service from the City should contact their hauler for tree pickup options or visit Hennepin County’s Yard and Tree Disposal webpage for drop-off options.

Place the tree in the yard to shelter birds and other wildlife from strong winds and cold. You can hang fruit slices, seed cakes or suet bags on its branches. You could also smear peanut butter and seeds in pine cones and hang them in the tree.

Prune off the branches and place the boughs over perennials as winter mulch.

Chip the tree and use it as mulch around trees and shrubs or in flower beds.

The South Transfer Station does not accept trees or holiday lights.

What to do with it

Don’t know what to do with it? Check here.