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How To Recycle Your Christmas Tree In LA (City Or County)

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If you live in Los Angeles, you can basically put your tree out with the rest of your recyclables on collection day. (Jonny Hughes via Flickr Creative Commons)
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A good time was had by all. Now you're waking up and staring at that Christmas tree and probably thinking one of three things:

"I don't want this feeling to end. I'll just keep the tree up a little longer."

Or: "I'm tired. I'll worry about the tree later."

Or: "It's over. Now how the heck do I get rid of this tree before it becomes a fire hazard?"

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In any case, that tree will (if it's fresh) become a fire hazard as it dries out, so you need to chuck it eventually. Luckily, if you live anywhere in the city of Los Angeles, you can most likely just put the tree out during your regular collection day, but you have several other options, as well.

You can look up your collection day on the L.A. Sanitation homepage.

IF YOU LIVE IN A SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE:

If you have a real tree, remove all the ornaments and any other decorations, cut the tree up as needed to fit inside your green bin, and put the bin out for pick-up on your regular collection day. If the tree is too big to cut and fit in a bin, just place it beside the bin on collection day. That's it.

If you have a plastic or flocked tree (you know, dusted with fake snow), it cannot be recycled. You must put these in the black bin instead. Done.

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Most residents can recycle their trees by placing in the green bin (or next to it if the tree's too big to fit) for regular curbside pickup. (City of L.A. Sanitation Department)

IF YOU LIVE IN AN APARTMENT OR MULTI-FAMILY BUILDING:

If you live in a multi-family building like an apartment complex, place your tree curbside and the city's sanitation department will pick it up on the scheduled neighborhood collection day. Easy-peasy.

DROPPING IT OFF YOURSELF:

If you don't want to wait for curbside service or you're just a DIY kind of soul, you have several options for disposing of the tree on your own.

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First, the city will accept trees at its mulching facilities through the end of January. The following facilities are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

Lopez Canyon Environmental and Education Center
11950 Lopez Canyon Rd.
Lake View Terrace, CA 91342

Harbor Mulch Facility
1400 N. Gaffey St.
San Pedro, CA 90731

You can also drop off your tree for one day only at a number of city parks and recreation facilities. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6, the following locations are accepting tree drop-offs:

  • Los Angeles Zoo Parking Lot at Griffith Park
  • Rancho Cienega Recreation Center in Baldwin Hills (5001 Rodeo Road)
  • Balboa Sports Center in Encino (17015 Burbank Boulevard)
  • Cheviot Hills Recreation Center in Rancho Park (2551 Motor Avenue)
  • Sunland Park (8651 Foothill Boulevard)
  • Westchester Municipal Building (7166 West Manchester Avenue)

Last but not least, you can drop the tree at one of the following local fire stations, which are accepting trees until mid-January:

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Fire Station #3
108 N. Fremont Ave., 90012 - Civic Center / Bunker Hill
(213) 485-6203

Fire Station #21
1192 E. 51st St., 90011 - South Los Angeles
(213) 485-6221

Fire Station #28
11641 Corbin Ave., 91326 - Porter Ranch
(818) 756-9728

Fire Station #29
4029 Wilshire Blvd., 90010 - Hancock Park
(213) 485-6229

Fire Station #36
1005 N. Gaffey St., 90731 - North San Pedro
(310) 548-7538

Fire Station #44
1410 Cypress Ave., 90065 - Cypress Park
(213) 485-6264

Fire Station #64
10811 S. Main St., 90061 - South Los Angeles
(213) 485-6264

Fire Station #65
1801 E. Century Blvd., 90002 - Watts
(213) 485-6265

Fire Station #77
9224 Sunland Blvd., 91352 - Sun Valley
(818) 756-8677

Fire Station #81
14355 Arminta St., 91402 - Panorama City
(818) 756-8681

Fire Station #88
5101 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 91403 - Sherman Oaks
(818) 756-8606

Fire Station #94
4470 Coliseum St., 90016 - South Los Angeles
(213) 485-6294

Fire Station #106
23004 Roscoe Blvd., 91304 - West Hills
(818) 756-8606

Bonus: The city recycles Christmas trees into mulch and compost, which residents can take home for free. More on that program here.

OTHER PARTS OF LA COUNTY:

Most county residents will have access to similar Christmas tree recycling programs via curbside pick-up or by dropping off at designated locations.

If you live in Acton or the Antelope Valley, check the listings on this Public Works website.

Residents of other unincorporated communities in L.A. County can find instructions here.

And if you live in one of the county's 88 incorporated cities, you can find more information about your city's recycling program here.


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