Now that the big day is over, your poor Christmas tree is likely languishing away in the corner, getting dryer and more flammable by the minute. Are you even bothering to turn the lights on anymore?

I know there are those of you out there who hang on to your Christmas tree until New Year’s Day (or beyond), but for those of you who are ready to reclaim your living room, here are a variety of options for returning your hardworking evergreen to the earth.

  1. Curbside pickup: The easiest, cheapest, and most popular way to send your tree packing. DSNY will collect trees for recycling from January 3 to January 14. All lights, ornaments, stands, plastic bags, and other items must be removed; trees will be chipped, mixed with leaves, and recycled into rich compost for NYC’s parks, institutions, and community gardens.Trees left on the curb on any other dates will be collected as garbage.
  2. Mulchfest: A more glorious goodbye for your tree—watch it being chipped in person (best it smells fantastic!), and take home your very own free bag of mulch. On January 7 and 8, from 10am to 2pm, simply bring your naked tree to one of many designated sites in all five boroughs—or leave it at a drop-off location. The city will use these wood chips to nourish trees and plants on streets and gardens citywide.Last year, more than 30,000 trees were recycled at Mulchfest!
  3. Pickup Service: Have no time? Hire a tree disposal expert to take care of this chore for you. NYC Trees will send a “dedicated removal team” to pick up your tree and bring it directly to a local NYC Parks mulching center to be processed. This service ranges from $50 to $200 depending on tree size.

One important note: please do not chop up your tree and burn it! Dried-out evergreens burn like tinder, creating fast burning sparks that can set your room or roof on fire. The pitch in the wood can also create toxic smoke and and fast-moving flames.