What goes up must (eventually) come down.  This is true of holiday decorations and it's especially true for those who have a real Christmas tree in their homes.

Now that December 25 has come and gone, people start to eye that spruce or balsam in  the living.  And while artificial trees are safe to keep up throughout the Christmas season, the real varieties send their own signals when it's time:  with dropping needles and dry branches.

Disposing of a real Christmas tree isn't as easy as an artificial one - for obvious reasons.  That's why the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) offers a program designed to get those trees out of curbside dumpsters - and the landfill - and into a system that gets their raw materials recycled for other uses.

WLSSD has eleven tree recycling sites located throughout the greater Twin Ports metro area - nine specifically in the Duluth area and an additional two located in Carlton County.

While the agency is happy to collect your old, real Christmas tree, there are a few stipulations.  First - you need to remove all of the ornaments, lights, and garland.  Additionally, the tree should be removed from the tree stand - whether or not it's one you keep or one that came with the tree; the tree recycling program does not accept tree stands.

Here are the details about the Duluth-area Christmas tree recycling sites:

  • Duluth Heights Community Club:  Open December 23 through January 10.  Located at 33 West Mulberry Street in the parking lot.
  • Lester Park:   Open December 23 through January 10.  Located at Superior Street and Lester River Road in the parking lot.
  • Woodland Community Club:  Open December 23 through January 10.  Located at 3211 Allendale Avenue - in the lower parking lot off of Woodland Avenue.
  • Chester Bowl:   Open December 23 through January 10.  Located at Skyline Parkway and 19th Avenue East in  the parking lot.
  • Duluth West Toolhouse:   Open December 23 through January 10.  Located at 2407 Commonwealth Avenue.
  • Rose Garden:   Open December 23 through January 10. Located at London Road and 13th Avenue East in the parking lot.
  • WLSSD Yard Waste Compost Site:   Open December 23 through January 31.  Located at 2626 Courtland Street - open daily 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • WLSSD Materials Recovery Center:  Open December 23 through January 31.  Located at 4587 Ridgeview Road.  Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  (Closed December 24, December 25, and January 1)
  • VONCO V Landfill:  Open December 23 through January 31.  Located at 1100 West Gary Street.  Open weekdays 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  (Closed December 24 and December 31)

Here are the details for the two locations in Carlton County:

  • SAPPI Fine Paper:  Open December 23 through January 17. Gatehouse Entrance.
  • Moose Lake Compost Site

You can also call to have your Christmas tree picked up for recycling.  Twin Ports Trailer Trash will do that for you once you fill out an online form.

Christmas tree in bin after christman
ShaunWilkinson
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One last thing:  The WLSSD tree recycling program does not accept wreaths or boughs.  Many people think that just because the materials are "real" and similar to the Christmas tree that it's okay to bring it along for recycling.  The agency does not accept these items as part of the program.

Scoop with a brush, dry twigs, fallen spruce needles and broken ball
RamilF
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