How to recycle your Christmas tree

Christmas Tree having its lights switched on in Trafalgar Square, London.
Christmas Tree having its lights switched on in Trafalgar Square, London. Photo: PA

Tradition states that keeping your Christmas tree and decorations up after the 6th of January is bad luck. That means hundreds of thousands of trees in London will be disposed of this weekend.

For those lucky enough to have a garden, there’s always the option of burning your tree – but the green spruce makes that easier said than done.

By far and away the most environmentally friendly solution is to recycle. That will be the fate of the Trafalgar Square tree which will be chipped and turned into compost on Monday.

But how do those of us with more meagre trees get them recycled?

The good news is that every single London borough council will be recycling trees for free.

Here’s a step by step guide to what you need to do:

STEP 1

Open the link here.

STEP 2

Once opened – type in your postcode and press search.

Go online to recycle Christmas trees.
Go online to recycle Christmas trees.

STEP 3

Click on ‘Composting’

Go online to recycle Christmas trees.
Go online to recycle Christmas trees.

STEP 4

Select ‘Christmas trees’

Go online to recycle Christmas trees.
Go online to recycle Christmas trees.

STEP 5

The map will show you your nearest free recycling centres. If you’re unable to get to one of those, many councils are also doing ad hoc collections. For more details contact your borough council directly. Their numbers will be displayed below the map.

Go online to recycle Christmas trees.
Go online to recycle Christmas trees.

Christmas Excess

  • Did you know: The excesses of the festive period put a strain on more than just our waistlines. In London we use enough wrapping paper to stretch around the equator and buy 48.94 million mince pies and 3.3 million Christmas puddings. All that adds up to an extra 29,000 tonnes of waste.

Twelfth Night Confusion

  • Did you know: There is some confusion about exactly when Twelfth Night is. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as: "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking". But in the UK we tend to say twelfth night is the evening of the 6th.