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How Can I Responsibly Dispose of My Christmas Tree?

It can be difficult to know what to do with your leftover Christmas trees, especially if it’s plastic. Sending it to landfill is irresponsible and damaging to the environment. As such, you should dispose of it properly and in a way that won’t negatively affect the planet. Here’s what you should do if you’re wanting to get rid of either your artificial or real Christmas tree.


Ask a local charity if they’re collecting Christmas trees for a small fee

There are several charities that will take your old Christmas tree and dispose of it in an eco-friendly manner. All you need to do is make a reasonable monetary donation in exchange. The Christmas trees they collect will be recycled, meaning it won’t impact the environment. As a result, the charity receives much-needed funds in return. 

Just Helping work with 56 charities and, since their flagship event; the National Christmas Tree Collection, was founded, over £3.85 million has been raised. In 2021, 108 local charities and non-profit organisations benefited from the money raised as a result of Christmas tree collections, according to JustHelping. Operating throughout the UK, you can register your tree here, once you’re ready to dispose of it.


Replant your Christmas tree if the roots are still attached

You don’t have to say goodbye to your Christmas tree if you don’t want to. You can try your hand at replanting it instead. It sounds unlikely that the tree will survive after it’s been cut down and kept inside for a few weeks. But according to Fantastic Gardeners, a Christmas tree can be replanted successfully, and subsequently thrive, if the right measures are put in place.

If you know that you want to replant the tree, then leave it indoors for no longer than 10 days. You should also choose a spot in the garden that’s not too windy and isn’t in direct sunlight. The soil should be loose and not clay-like to allow for adequate drainage. When digging the hole for the tree, ensure the diameter is double that of the size of the trunk. 

If it takes, then the roots will start to grow again. This means that you can take it out and use the same tree again next year. Not only is this more eco-friendly, but it’ll also help to save you money. Send Me A Christmas Tree claims that a real tree could set you back anywhere from £47-£307, depending on species and height. If you can save this amount of money next Christmas, you could put it towards other things.


Check with the local council

Plenty of councils and Local Authorities around the country will offer Christmas tree collection services. For example, North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) will collect real Christmas trees and turn them into compost. However, you will need to cut it up, depending on its size, so that it can go in the garden bin with the lid closed, otherwise the council will not collect it. 

There are also some waste management sites that residents can take their real trees to, which can be found here if you’re part of the NWLDC. No matter the council you fall under, there will be an option for them to collect your unwanted Christmas tree. Check with your Local Authority to find out more.


Turn your Christmas tree into a wildlife habitat

You can chop up your Christmas tree, with the right tools. Use the remains to create a wildlife habitat for insects and animals alike. Birds and squirrels, for example, love to play in the material. They might even take some to build nests with, ready for the spring. To make a bug habitat, trim the branches and arrange them into a small, teepee-shaped pile. This provides shelter and protection for insects. It will also decompose evenly and provide you with quality compost.


Ask a waste management company to help dispose of your Christmas tree

Waste management companies, such as us here at Willshee’s, will always be happy to help you dispose of your Christmas tree responsibly. We’re pleased to be able to recycle wood and green waste. Our green waste is composted at a dedicated facility where 100% of the material is used. We will then take the composted material and use it as fertiliser on agricultural land, therefore lowering your carbon footprint as well as our own. 

The wood we take from the tree will be chipped at our very own Sawmills Recycling Centre and 100% of the material will be recycled for added peace of mind. The wood will then be graded in order to establish whether the chippings should be used for animal bedding, panel boarding or biomass. The entirety of your Christmas tree will be recycled responsibly at Willshee’s, with nothing going to landfill.


How to get rid of an artificial Christmas tree responsibly

Due to the different materials that artificial trees are made from, with some of them containing lights and fiber optics, it’s very difficult to recycle them at this point in time. As such, if you do not want yours any more, and if it’s in good condition, take it to a charity shop. It could end up in landfill if you tip it. If you’re going to opt for an artificial tree, choose one that you’ll plan to use every single year. This will help to limit the amount of waste you’re producing that cannot be disposed of in an eco-friendly manner.



Willshee’s are proud to provide waste management solutions to both commercial and domestic settings. Whether you need skip hire services or hazardous waste removal, we’ll always be on hand to help. We will always aim to recycle 100% of the waste we collect, so you can rest assured that your waste will be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner every single time. We will also give you all of the relevant paperwork you need to reassure you that we’re licensed waste carriers. For more information, or to enquire about one of our dedicated services, get in touch with a member of our professional team today – we’re always happy to hear from you. 


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