How do I get rid of my natural Christmas tree in Calgary?

Christmas trees can be 'treecycled' at one of several locations in the city. Matt Myers / Global News

Waste and recycling carts will be getting a workout in the coming weeks as Calgarians clean up from the holidays.

If you haven’t already, you’ll probably soon be taking down your Christmas tree. But you can’t just place the tree as-is in your green cart – it has to be broken up first.

“You treat it just like branches in your yard; you cut it down into pieces, put it in your cart, make sure the lid closes,” said Philippa Wagner, the program leader for the City of Calgary’s Waste and Recycling Services.

“If your cart is full it can be placed beside in bundles with natural fiber string, or it can be put in paper yard waste bags.”

If you don’t want to be bothered with cutting it up, whole trees can be dropped off at one of the city’s temporary depots until Jan. 31.

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This is the first Christmas that homes in all quadrants of the city have green carts, but Wagner doesn’t expect the extra holiday waste will be taxing on the system.

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“We’re certainly not anticipating that it will be any strain on our operations,” Wagner said. ” We do expect a bit of a peak of all wastes in the post-Christmas season and we’re prepared for that.”

Wagner reminds Calgarians, as they’re cleaning up, to put wrapping paper and boxes in blue bins. The exception is shiny paper, bows and ribbons which can’t be recycled.

As for that artificial tree that is ready to be retired, Wagner asked that people look at other options than the landfill.

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“We do encourage people to donate their tree to a thrift store or give it away to one of the give away websites. But if that fails, or if the tree is just too broken for anybody’s use, then it would have to go in your black cart to go to the landfill.”


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