Holiday Tree Recycling at Monroe County Solid Waste Management District

(BLOOMINGTON) – Put your cut tree to good use after you take it down. Recycle it with the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District).

Trees are then turned into mulch. Otherwise, you can put cut trees in a brush pile, which serves as a sheltered area for wildlife. As the tree decomposes, it gradually returns valuable nutrients to the soil.

The District partners with Republic Services and Good Earth LLC, to provide holiday tree recycling from December 26, 2020, through January 9, 2021. Natural trees, wreaths, and garlands will be accepted at all five district recycling centers. Before dropping off trees for recycling, all decorations, including, but not limited to, ornaments, lights, artificial snow, garland, and tinsel must be removed.

No artifical trees will be accepted for recycling.

Community Outreach Coordinator Elisa Pokral reminds the public that “Real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource.”

As the National Tree Association reports, “Artificial trees contain non-biodegradable plastics and possible metal toxins such as lead. North American real Christmas trees are growing in all 50 states and Canada.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, “Eighty percent of artificial trees worldwide are manufactured in China.”

Pokral explains, “It’s best to purchase either a live tree to plant or a cut tree, rather than an artificial tree.”

Trees will be accepted for recycling at the following locations during normal business hours between the dates of December 26, 2020, and January 9, 2021, as follows:

  • The South Walnut Recycling Center (3400 South Walnut Street): Wednesday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
  • Rural Recycling Centers – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.
  • The Ellettsville Recycling Center, 6200 North Matthews Drive
  • The Westside Recycling Center, 341 North Oard Road, (off St. Rd. 48, west of 37)
  • The Southside Recycling Center, 400 West Dillman Road, (1/8 mile west of 37)
  • The Northeast Recycling Center, 6015 East State Road 45, New Unionville, off E. Bethel Lane

Some additional ways to recycle your cut tree are listed on the web site of This Old House.

As the article from This Old House explains, if you’re able to do some tree cutting, here are some other options:

  1. Mulch with pine needles
  2. Create a bird sanctuary with the boughs
  3. Insulate perennials with the boughs
  4. Edge your borders with the trunk
  5. Shelter fish with branches
  6. Set a stage for containers with the trunk
  7. Make coasters and trinkets with the trunk
  8. Chip it and use it for added nutrients to the soil
  9. Feed a fire pit with boughs
  10. Stake your plants with smaller branches
  11. They forgot to list the 11th option but Pokral says, “Create a brush pile with your tree or add it to an existing brush pile on your property so it returns the nutrients to your yard. Otherwise, bring your tree to the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District so that it can be recycled into mulch.

For more information on recycling holiday trees, call the District at 349-2020 or refer to the District’s Monroe County District FB page