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Where to Recycle Your Christmas Tree in the Bay Area, 2012/2013 Edition

| January 1, 2013
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Many cities and counties compost Christmas trees. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

Don’t go over your city or county’s Christmas tree composting/recycling¬† cliff. Find out when and how to get rid of that tree with our annual guide.

No county or city accepts flocked or decorated trees for curbside pickup, although some Boy Scout troops do for a charge. Most counties compost their trees. We’ve included city information when possible.

Alameda County
Most cities collect holiday trees through the first two weeks of January on regular pickup days.

Albany
(510) 613-8710
Holiday trees are collected through the month of January. Residents can place trees at the curb next to the green waste, recycling and trash carts on regular pickup days. Trees taller than 6 feet must be cut into smaller parts.

Berkeley
(510) 981-7270
During the month of January, residents can place trees at the curb next to the plant debris cart. Residents can also drop trees at the Transfer Station at 1201 Second Street at no charge during the month of January.

Businesses and residents of multi-family buildings who don’t normally have plant debris service can ask a neighbor for the plant debris pickup day on that block, or call (510) 981-7270 for information.

Trees more than 7 feet tall should be cut in half.

Dublin
Residents can place their tree at the curb by 5:30 a.m. on their regular service day December 26 through January 4. Trees must be cut down to 4 feet or less. After January 6, residents can place trees into the Organics Cart along with acceptable yard trimmings. Tree branches and stumps must be cut up in lengths that will allow the lid to securely close.

For a $5 donation per tree, local Boy Scouts will pick up trees on Saturday, January 5. Reservations are required. You can make reservations online or call (925) 558-2709.

Emeryville
(510) 613-2104
For single-family residences, trees are picked up curbside during the first two weeks of January on the regular pickup days.

Multiple family residences should coordinate with Waste Management at (510) 613-2104 to arrange for a dumpster. Trees must be cut to less than 5 feet tall.

Fremont
Trees that are less than 6-feet-tall can be placed on the curb between December 31 and January 11 on scheduled collection days. Collection is one day later January 1 to 4.

Residents can also drop off trees Monday through Friday during regular hours at 42600 Boyce Road, Fremont.

On January 5, a local Boy Scout troop will also pick up trees for $5. Call (510) 494-4580 to make a reservation by January 2.

Hayward
(510) 537-5500
Residents can leave trees less than 5-feet-tall on the curb for regular pick up for the first two weeks of January. After that, trees left at the curb can be picked up for a fee, but will not be recycled.

Newark
(510) 624-5900
The city will collect trees left at the curb through the month of January on regular pick up days. Trees must be cut to 5-feet-tall.

Oakland
Residents can place trees at the curb by 6 a.m. on regular pickup days during the first two weeks of January. Trees must be no more than 5-feet-tall. After that, residents can drop off trees at the Davis Street Transfer Station.

San Leandro
Residents can place trees less than 6-feet-tall on the curb for pickup during the first two weeks of January.

Union City
(510) 471-3850
Trees should be place inside green yard-waste carts. If they do not fit, trees should be cut in half, with half going inside the cart and the other half on the curb next to the cart. TRI-CED will collect trees during the month of January.

Contra Costa County

Pittsburg
Place trees less than 5-feet-tall at the curb for regular pickup. Larger trees should be cut in half and placed on the curb.

San Ramon
The city will pick up trees less than 6-feet-tall during the week of January 7. For a $5 fee a local Boy Scout troop will pick up trees on January 5. Visit www.sanramonscouts.org or e-mail sanramontrees@yahoo.com, or call (925) 362-8960.

Marin County

Christmas trees will be picked up throughout January at the curb on regularly scheduled days. Trees more than 6-feet-tall must be cut in half.

Marin Sanitary customers can also drop off up to two Christmas trees for free at the Marin Resource Recovery Center at 565 Jacoby Street, San Rafael. There is a charge for flocked trees.

Larkspur
Trees can be dropped off in Piper Park near the ball fields, and on Barry Way next to Niven Park in Greenbrae until January 15.

Mill Valley
Trees will be picked up on regular days throughout January. Trees more than 5 feet tall must be cut in half.

Napa County
(707) 255-5200
Napa Valley District Boy Scouts will pick up trees left on the curb by 9 a.m. on January 5. They ask for a donation of $5. You can also recycle old Christmas lights at the Napa Recycling and Waste Services office.

San Francisco County
(415) 330-1300
Residents can place trees at the curb on regularly scheduled pickup days from January 2 to 11. Trees taller than 6 feet need to be cut in half.

San Mateo County
Trees less than 8-feet-tall can be left at the curb for regular pick up during the month of January. Residents without regular trash pickup can drop off their trees at several locations.

Santa Clara County

Campbell
West Valley Collection and Recycling will pick up two trees per residence on the curb during regular service until January 25. Trees must be less than 5-feet-tall.

Cupertino
Curbside pickup is available. Trees must be undecorated and cut into 3-foot lengths and placed in the yard-waste bin with the lid closed.

Unincorporated Cupertino
Curbside pickup is available. Place undecorated tree by the yard-waste bin on pickup day; small trees may be placed inside the bin. Apartment residents should place all trees in a central location and call (408) 918-4640 to arrange a pickup.

Gilroy
Curbside pickup is available. Cut trees into 3-foot by 3-foot sections and place on curb next to bin. Also, trees may be cut into small pieces and placed inside of yard-waste bin, but lid must close.

Los Altos
Curbside pickup is available. Place undecorated tree by the yard-waste bin on pickup day; small trees may be placed inside the bin. Apartment residents should place all trees in a central location and call (408) 918-4640 to arrange a pickup.

Los Gatos
West Valley Collection and Recycling will pick up two trees per residence on the curb during regular service until January 25. Trees must be less than 5-feet-tall.

Milpitas
Residents should place their undecorated trees (flocked trees are OK) by the curb on their pickup day by January 11. Trees should be cut into 4-foot lengths. For more questions, call (408) 432-0444.

Solano County

Most cities and unincorporated areas do allow for curbside collection. Often trees must be cut down to 5 feet. Check the online newsletter for details for each city.

Also, several Boy Scout troops are picking up trees in the following cities: Dixon, Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo. The County’s online newsletter has phone numbers and email addresses to make appointments for tree pickup.

Sonoma County

Residents have three options for getting rid of their Christmas trees this year:

Cut trees to fit in the yard-waste container with the lid closed. The following cities (and unincorporated Sonoma County) can put whole trees next to the yard-waste bin: Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and Windsor.

Residents can also call (707) 565-3333 to make an appointment and a non-profit will pick up your whole tree. Suggested $7 donation. Pickup dates are January 5, 6, 12 and 13.

In the following cities, residents may drop off up to two trees, free of charge: Cloverdale, Cotati, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Windsor and some unincorporated areas. Check the website for locations and times for each city and unincorporated areas.

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Category: Environment, Marin, Napa, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Sonoma

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About the Author ()

Lisa Pickoff-White is KQED's Senior Interactive News Producer. Her work has been honored with awards from the Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Society of Professional Journalists and SXSW Interactive. Lisa specializes in visual journalism, including photography and data. Reach Lisa Pickoff-White at lpickoffwhite@kqed.org.

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