Buy or rent a living tree; learn composting guidelines
Berkeley, California (Wednesday, November 24, 2021) - When selecting your tree this holiday season, consider a plan that reduces waste and is made with the City's disposal rules in mind for when the season is over.
Living trees can be rented for the season or planted in your yard - and avoids waste altogether.
You may have your own ideas of how to create the holiday experience without creating holiday waste.
If you decide to buy, know how to dispose your holiday tree later.
We compost cut trees - not all the trimmings and treatments
If you're considering a cut tree, know that we only compost the tree itself. Avoid trees that have been "flocked" - covered with chemicals mimicking snow - as they cannot be composted.
When it's time to dispose a compostable tree, you'll have to remove all lights, decorations, tinsel, plastic bags and plastic tree stands. You'll have to cut them to fit inside your green compost cart with the lid closed (i.e. less than 3' long).
If you don't have the tools to cut your tree to fit into your cart, the Berkeley Tool Lending Library, located at 1901 Russell Street, is a great resource for free tool rental.
Trees left on the curb won't get picked up as they can damage City side-loader collection trucks.
Tree drop-off schedule
You may prefer dropping off discarded trees at the Transfer Station:
City of Berkeley Transfer Station
1201 2nd Street (off Gilman Avenue)
Monday - Saturday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Closed Christmas and New Year's days
- Compostable trees: free drop-off for compostable trees in January; $23 starting February 1
- Flocked or plastic trees: $29 fee
As you celebrate the holidays, the City's Zero Waste Division also hopes you take some steps to reduce holiday waste.