Recycle those Holiday Decorations, Trees, Wreaths & Wrapping

For many of us, it’s that time of year to  clean up after the holidays. The post below is from Clean Ocean Action, a local non-profit organization dedicated to ocean advocacy.

Read on about how to deal with holiday decorations!


The holiday season has come to a close. Now what are you to do with your Christmas tree and decorations? Here are some tips on how to dispose of them properly:
Christmas Trees. Towns throughout New Jersey offer a Christmas tree recycling mulching program. If you are unsure, call your municipality to see if this program is offered and directions on how to dispose of your tree. The most important tip to remember is to place a BARE tree on the curb for pickup; do not place the tree in a plastic bag! Did you go to town with the tinsel this year? Be sure to remove all tinsel before placing the tree on the curb. Next year opt to replace tinsel with other natural accent alternatives reducing unnecessary waste.
In the past Shore communities used Christmas trees for dunes, however it has been found to be very maintenance intensive and towns have switched to other natural alternatives, such as planting dune grass. To extend the life of your tree, place it outside, providing a home for birds, and then place it on the curb in the spring for recycling.


For the towns comprising the Whale Pond Brook Watershed, here are the details about tree disposal, or who to call:

EATONTOWN – Public Works Director: Frank Cannella, Jr . 732-389-7651

TINTON FALLS – Holiday/Christmas Trees. These may be placed at the curb for collection from end of December through January 13th of the new year. If you miss the tree collection, you may may bring your tree to the recycling drop-off behind Borough Hall, or wait for your scheduled zone pick-up for branches and brush. Place your tree at the curb free of ornaments and bags, as the ornaments and bags cannot be recycled. Wreaths and garlands made from trees may be placed in your refuse container.

OCEAN TWP – Dept. of Public Works: Tom Crochet, CPWM
Director, 732-531-5001,

WEST LONG BRANCH – 732-229-1756

LONG BRANCH – Director of Public Works, Fred Migliaccio, CPM, CPWM (732) 571-6520

Plants. Remove your holiday poinsettias, flowers, or plants from any plastic containers and ribbons, then place plants in a compost pile or at the curb.
Wreathes. Remove any bows, ribbons, or ornaments from your wreath. If you can, save the decorations for next year or donate items to a local goodwill. If in poor condition, dispose of the items properly. Unfortunately, glass ornaments cannot be recycled, please place them in the garbage. Also, remove metal frames and hardware from the wreath. You can also extend the life of your wreath by placing it outside, providing a home for birds, and then put it out in the spring for recycling. Place the greens at the curb for pickup or drop it off at your recycling center.
Lights. Have strands of broken lights? Stores such as Home Depot and Ace Hardware accept lights and sometimes provide a discount on LED lights when you drop off your lights.  
Unwrap. Odds are plenty of gifts were exchanged this holiday season. If you received any presents in gift bags, keep these bags to be used for next year. A tip to keep in mind for next year – don’t ball up wrapping paper since this has been known to affect recycling equipment. Also tissue paper can be reused or composted in your personal compost pile. Read more here.