Here’s how to ‘treecycle’

Pierce County residents who subscribe to yard waste collection service can place their unflocked Christmas tree in their trash container for pickup by their recycling hauler, according to the county’s  Public Works and Utilities Department.

To “treecycle,” remove the tree stand, tinsel, decorations and any nails or staples from trees. Place the tree in the yard waste for the regularly scheduled collection day. The tree must fit into the closed container, so it may need to be cut  into pieces if necessary. If your tree isn’t in the cart, you may be charged a pickup fee, officials said.

Flocked trees can’t be recycled. They must be disposed of as garbage, officials said. More information is available at

Recycled trees are composted into PREP (Pierce County Recycled Earth Products), a “soil amendment that is popular with home and commercial gardeners,” said Sheryl Rhinehart, outreach coordinator for the utilities department. “The compostenhances soil quality, saves water, and reduces reliance on chemical fertilizers. Treecycling also helps save valuable landfill space.”

The cities of Milton, Tacoma, Puyallup, and Ruston have special collection programs for households within their city limits, with information available from the respective city halls or local garbage haulers.