Christmas Trees in Tampa

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How to remove and recycle your Christmas Tree.
How and Where to Recycle your Tree, After the Holidays

Real, Fresh Christmas trees are a special holiday joy. As you'll learn from reading the pages of Christmas Trees in, You'll see that a real tree does not take much more time and trouble than an artificial tree. We encourage you to enjoy a fresh Christmas tree in your home this season.

    Once Santa has departed and the New Year's eve party is just a memory, the Christmas tree is a daily reminder of one last chore needed to finish the holiday season..... Removing the Christmas tree from the home/apartment or condo. We have put together a list of tips/suggestion that you may not have thought of, to make this last job a little easier. We also recommend you look for local options to recycle your Christmas tree..... but first some ideas about Christmas tree removal.

Start your tree removal

Start your tree removal by un-decorating it. Most families re-use ornaments and lights from year to year. The packing /storage material for your ornaments can be re-used, to put them away each January. Trying to remove a tree with ornaments is just asking for trouble. As you'll see, [below] no one want to accept a tree that isn't "clean".

When all the ornaments and lights are removed, clear a path to the exit doorway. Just as when the Christmas tree was installed, you don't want branches pushing items off tables and shelves, snagging breakables or scratching doors, walls and furniture on the way out. If your tree was installed with a burlap tree wrap in place, go retrieve it from where it was stored and re-wrap the tree. You can also use an old heavy blanket for this purpose. Starting at the bottom of the tree and working in a spiral upward, lift the branches up, compressing them toward the center stem. As you work your way up the tree, tighten the wrap/blanket to keep the tree tightly bound. When finished, your Christmas tree will again be easy to carry and should contain the vast majority of needles. Trying to carry an "open" tree through the house will only spread needles in a trail across the floor and out the door.

If you don't have the burlap tree wrap or a heavy blanket, try this alternate idea. Grab a roll of duct-tape and two or three [heavy] plastic garbage bags. Starting at the bottom again, Bind the tree branches in the "up position" as you would above, this time using the heavy [strong] duct-tape to hold the branches in place. Two loops around the tree should hold the branches in place long enough to get the tree removed. Open a [heavy] plastic trash bag and place it over the top of the tree, to see how far down the tree is covered. Open the bottom of the second trash bag, sliding it over the top to fit and pulling it down to the midway point. A third bag will probably overlay down to the bottom branches. This is not an ideal solution, but will keep the majority to needles from falling off in the hallways and door spaces, until you get outside.

Christmas tree needles will damage your vacum cleaner. Don't try to use it in the cleanup. A broom and dust pan works best. This is why wrapping the tree before "exit" is a way to solve two problems in one step.

When your tree is wrapped and ready to lift, Don't forget to drain the water from your tree stand, before lifting your tree. You have two choices, depending on how the tree was installed. > If the tree stand was attached outside your home and carried in, as a single unit, exit the same way. You'll have more room to remove the base outside. If you attached the tree stand to a wider plywood base, for stability the choice is made for you. No tree stand can be completely drained. Another [heavy] plastic trash bag can wrap the tree stand base, as the tree is lifted to minimise drips. > If you set the tree stand in place and carried the tree to it, the reverse procedure should work. Have someone hold the tree stand base is place as the tree is lifted out. Again, No tree stand can be completely drained and this water will contain sap and residue that WILL stain carpets and furniture. Plan ahead to prevent this, You don't want to spill or drip this water through the house.

Once your tree is outside - Click here

Once your tree is outside, remove the tree stand base and add it to the boxes of tree ornaments in storage, ready for next year. Make sure your tree stand is stored completely dry with all pieces and parts in place. You don't want to find a rusty tree stand next year or need to go looking for parts.

What do you do with your Christmas tree, once it is outside the home?

We cannot state strongly enough, Never attempt to burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove. There is a reason no one uses pines, firs or other evergreen trees as fire wood. These types of tree woods are unpredictable as they burn. They also smoke, stink and spark. Evergreens have a tree sap that is high in flammable turpentine oils. You'll see an ugly residue after burning and may have a creosote buildup lining your residential chimney, risking a fire at any time in the future. Do NOT burn your Christmas tree. It's just never the safe or smart option.

What IS the smart option for Christmas tree disposal. Every city, county or municipal district has different provisions for the removal of the "flood" of Christmas trees that are put into the disposal system each January. Look for announcements in the local paper, online or on the local TV/radio news. The "green" movement has encouraged many waste disposal systems to "recycle" Christmas trees. They can be chipped into mulch. If the branches are trimmed, they can be used to stop soil erosion in construction areas, You may be tempted to find a neighbor with a compost pile, but they will tell you that "evergreen" branches and tree trunks/stems, don't decompose well, but the needles will.

Look below on this page, for both general tips and options specific to the Tampa Bay area. We are www.Christmas Trees in, after all. All others can find local information by calling your existing trash/garbage collection service.

Some areas offer curbside pick-up, either as part of your regular trash pick-up, or with provisions for municipal recycling, on certain days or weeks. Municipal authorities know this volume of trees is coming and plan for it annually, but they may have "rules" for you to follow. Collection of Christmas trees usually only last for about 2 weeks after Christmas. After that, you may be "out-of-luck". Check to see if there are limits on the size of the tree "pieces" too. It is very common for a maximum 4 foot length of any tree waste, at any time of the year. Sawing your tree into three pieces before placing it at the curb, or into an approved container is possible.

Almost every municipality offers the option of taking your tree to a drop-off /recycling center or the "county dump", as they used to be called. This will require tieing it onto your car or truck again and making the drive. If it is re-wrapped as discussed above, this chore is a little easier. Talk to neighbors to see if you can all cooperate and make one trip.

Here are the Tampa Bay area specific options available to you as a home owner with residential trash pick-up. If you live in an apartment or condo, check with your office for the information that applies to you. We have attempted to gather the best correct info for 2011, but many cities and municipalities said they don't have specific plans in place "yet", or that they would "get back to us with that info". We have included many phone numbers here to give you a head-start on finding the details in your specific area.

 Real, Fresh Christmas trees are a special holiday joy. As you learn from reading the pages of Christmas Trees in, You'll see that a real tree does not take much more time and trouble than an artificial tree. We encourage you to enjoy a fresh Christmas tree in your home this season.

The City of Tampa Christmas Tree removal info- Click here
 The City of Tampa Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management offers free removal, pick up and recycling of your Christmas tree. The tree must be without ornaments, lights or attached metal tree stands. Place your tree at curbside starting on January 3, Your pick-up day will be the regularly-scheduled yard waste collection day(s). Areas without yard waste recycling service, will have trees picked up on the first Thursday and Friday of January You can deliver your tree to the Manhattan Brush site, or at the McKay Bay Waste-to-Energy Facility. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday. Trees will be ground up and used as mulch. For more information, call (813) 348-1111, or visit
Unincorporated sections of Hillsborough County Christmas Tree removal info- Click here

Unincorporated sections of Hillsborough County will have the Solid Waste Management department pick up trees at curbside on normal "yard waste" service days. Trees must be cut into lengths shorter that 4-foot. There is no "time limit" for when the trees have to be placed at the curbside following the holidays, but yard waste rules must be followed. This means your trees must be striped of decorations, lights and metal tree stands. You can deliver your Christmas Tree(s) to the facilities listed below . Waste management facilities operate from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Bring ID and a copy of your property tax bill or waste services bill. Non-residents pay a fee to drop off Christmas trees.


Hillsborough County facilities are located at: - Click here
Hillsborough County facilities are located at:
--Northwest County Facility, 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, Phone: 813-264-3816
--South County Facility, 13000 U.S. 41 north of Big Bend Road, Gibsonton, Phone: 813-671-7611
--Wimauma Facility, 16180 West Lake Drive, Wimauma, Phone: 813-671-7706
--Resource Recovery Facility, 350 N. Falkenburg Rd., Tampa, Phone: 813-744-5591
The facilities will be open on New Year's Eve. Call Solid Waste Management Department at 813-272-5680 with any questions
Pinellas County Christmas Tree removal info cities in Alphabetical order - Click here
Belleair - Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day. 727-588-3798, ext. 406.
Clearwater - Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day.727-562-4920.
Dunedin -Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day from12/26/08-1/9/09. Residents without curbside yard waste pick- up should contact their association. 727-298-3215.
Gulfport - Curbside collection with yard waste on Wednesdays. 727-893-1089.
Indian Rocks Beach - Curbside collection with yard waste on Wednesdays. 727-595-6889.
Largo - Curbside collection with yard waste on scheduled days. 727-587-6760.
Madeira Beach - Curbside collection with yard waste on Wednesdays. 727-391-1611.
Oldsmar Drop-off collection at 107 Shore Dr, West Call 813-749-1262.
Pinellas Park - Drop-off collection at 12950 40th Street [City Residents only] 727-541-0711.
Safety Harbor - Curbside collection with yard waste on Wednesdays. 727-724-1550.
St. Petersburg Beach - Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day. 727-363-9243.
St. Petersburg - Curbside collection on Saturday January 9 or Drop-off at:
1000 62nd Ave. NE or 7750 26th Ave N or 2500 26th Ave S or 4015 Dr. MLK Jr. St. S or 2453 20th Ave N Call 727-893-7398.
Tarpon Springs - Curbside collection with yard waste (Wed.) starting Jan 4, Drop-off at 898 S. Levis Ave., ($5 fee minimum) Call 727-943-4837.
Treasure Island - Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day. Call - 727-547-4575.
Unincorporated Pinellas County - Drop-off at the Pinellas County Solid Waste Operations, 3095 114th Ave N., St. Petersburg. Cost is $3. per load [maximum of five (5) trees]. Call 727-464-7500. Hours: Monday- Friday 6am-6pm and Saturday 7am-5pm. .
Pasco County - Click here
Call the Recycling Office: (352) 521-4274 - extension 8041
Polk County - Click here

Solid Waste Dept will pick up your Christmas tree with your yard waste (on your standard scheduled day(s) and will mulch it along with the other yard scraps. This mulch is available FREE to residents. Bring your own container(s)
Phone: (863) 284-4319 Lakeland 863-834-8773 Winter Haven 863-291-5757

Why all the information above may not be perfect: - Click here
We try to frequently update this page for the Tampa Bay area, right before and after Christmas. We can't make any guarantees that this is the latest information. It is a huge chore to call 71 city and county offices, and get them to promptly respond with correct information. You would think that local municipalities would want to provide this info, so they don't get phone calls and complaints, but again, 2011 info was just as hard to collect as always.

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