Buy or rent a living tree; learn composting guidelines
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 after the holidays and avoid waste altogether.
If you decide to buy a cut tree or have other ideas for your holiday tree experience, know how to dispose of it later.
Decorations, trimmings, and treatments are not compostable
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 of 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 (for example, less than 3 feet long).
If you don't have the tools to cut your tree to fit into your cart, use the Berkeley Tool Lending Library, located at 1901 Russell Street, 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; starting February 1, $27.75 plus $3.50 Environmental Compliance Fee
- Flocked or plastic trees: $38.50 fee plus $3.50 Environmental Compliance Fee
As you celebrate the holidays, the City's Zero Waste Division also hopes you take some steps to reduce holiday waste.
Strategic Plan Goal