Christmas tree collection Edinburgh 2020: how to recycle your real tree - and date you should leave it out

Make sure to recycle your Xmas tree instead of chucking it away

By Jenna Macfarlane
Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 2:03 pm
It’s easy to recycle your real Christmas tree in January (Shutterstock)
It’s easy to recycle your real Christmas tree in January (Shutterstock)

A few weeks after painstakingly putting up your Christmas tree and making sure your meticulous decorating is near-perfect comes the time when it needs to be taken back down again.

Dismantling the tree in January is always a sad moment as it symbolises the end of the fun festive period - and a return to work for most people.

Fortunately, there’s one good thing that can come from taking down a real Christmas tree, as you are able to easily recycle it so it doesn’t go to waste.

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They can be shredded into wood chippings which are then often used in parks and woodland areas, or turned into compost.

Arranging a collection is totally worth it, as disposing a real Christmas tree properly can reduce its carbon footprint by up to 80 percent.

You may have spent hours lovingly decorating your tree, but at some point it’s got to go - so here’s when you can get it picked up over the festive period.

How can I recycle my tree in Edinburgh?

In the UK, most local councils will collect Christmas trees as part of their regular rubbish collection, but different councils have different requirements for this.

Edinburgh City Council does offer this service, and is able to collect your tree for recycling into compost.

All you need to do is check the Christmas tree collection dates for your street and ensure you put it out for collection on the correct day.

Then, the council asks you to prepare your tree by:

- Removing any stand or base

- Removing all decorations from the Christmas tree

- Cut it in half if it is 6ft tall or higher

- Don't place trees in plastic bags

- Leave it in your garden until the collection day - don't put it out any other day

Then, on your specific collection day, place your Christmas tree on the kerbside by 6am next to a communal bin - ensuring you don’t block access to the bin or pavement.

How else can I recycle my tree?

You are also able to take your real Christmas tree to any of the household waste recycling centres in Edinburgh if you don’t want to wait for collection.

The different centres in the city are:

- Seafield HWRC, 76 Seafield Road, EH6 7LW

- Craigmillar HWRC, Old Dalkeith Road, EH16 4TB

- Sighthill HWRC, Bankhead Avenue, EH11 4EA.

They are open seven days a week - but you must book an appointment before you go.

What other Christmas items can be recycled?

Other Christmas items can be recycled too, so you can further reduce your carbon footprint.

That includes recyclable Christmas wrapping paper, cardboard boxes from packaging, Christmas cards with glitter or bows removed, and clean tin foil from Christmas food like turkey and mince pies.

These can all be recycled if you place them in the appropriate bin for collection.