The holiday season is winding down—and so is the usefulness of the noble Christmas tree. But trees are incredibly cumbersome, especially when added up with all the trees from surrounding households, and most of them don’t fit in a compost bin. Fortunately, Austin and surrounding areas have procedures in place for this sort of thing.
No matter how you dispose of your tree, remember to strip it of all decorations first so all you’re getting rid of is the tree, with no pesky, non-compostable tinsel or ornaments in the way. In most cases below, flocked trees (those with artificial snow on them) are not accepted.
Compostability and recycling are key—and, after Jan. 18, you can get your hands on some of those lovely wood chips that the city makes out of the trees it gets at Zilker Park (see below).
City of Austin curbside customers can recycle their trees at the curb. Austin Resource Recovery asks that you set out your tree by 6:30 a.m. on your regular collection day, Again, remove all decorations and stands from the tree, and do not place it in a plastic bag. Trees over 6 feet tall should be cut in half.
Zilker Park Drop-Off
If you’re not an City of Austin curbside customer or for some reason just like moving old trees around (volunteer here to help out if that’s really true), you can drop your trees for recycling at Zilker Park. Trees with flocking (artificial snow) are not accepted. Drop-off is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the following dates:
- Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018
- Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018
- Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019
- Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019
Trees collected will be turned into mulch and will be available for free on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Jan. 17, 9 a.m. You will need to bring your own tools and storage containers for loading and transporting the mulch.
Other Free Drop-Off Locations
You can also drop off your tree for free at the locations below, but remember that a contamination fee will be added to any trees with tags, decorations, and/or plastic remaining.
- TDS Landfill: 3016 FM 1327, Creedmoor, Texas
- Eco Depot: 4001 RR 620 South, Bee Cave, Texas
- 13602 FM 969, Austin, TX 78724 | (512) 276-1211
Walker Aero Environmental (JV Dirt)
- 3600 FM 973 North Austin, Texas 78725
- 3219 S IH 35 Round Rock, Texas 78664
- 629 Dalton Lane, Austin, Texas 78742
Travis County Transfer Station
- 2625 Woodall Dr. Leander, Texas 78641
- 6013 Blue Bluff Rd Austin, Texas 78724
Del Valle Softball Complex (Behind the Southwest Rural Center)
- 3614 FM 973 Del Valle, Texas 78617
Drop-Off Locations with a Fee
Locations listed below have varying fees. Call for more information.
Starts at $1.00/per tree to $20/per load
For more information: 512-748-0800
10701 Kinser Lane, Austin, Texas 78736
Call for fee information: 512-420-0733
3810 Medical Parkway Austin, TX 78756
For more information: 512-259-7430
3875 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park, TX 78613
For more information: 512-743-3909
11601 Anderson Mill Rd., Austin, TX 78750
Pickup requests only. Prices start at $25 for pickup and disposal.
For more information: 512-301-4400
Some surrounding cities and suburbs in the Austin area have their own tree drop-off and recycling systems in place. Here are a few, with links to more details.