Each year the streets are littered with dead and dying Christmas trees dumped by uncaring families who can’t be bothered to dispose of them properly.
To see trees that for a few weeks gave so much delight and pleasure to families being coldly cast aside without care is heartbreaking.
But those who wish to dispose of their tree is a more sensible manner, most London councils offer collection and recycling facilities, where trees are reduced to compost to grow the next generation of trees.
When handing them to the council, the Christmas trees need to be shorn of their pot, their decorations and anything not tree-like. In essence, they need to be naked.
Note, these instructions apply to real Christmas trees, grown from actual wood. Plastic trees need not apply.
Barking and Dagenham
You can take it to the car park of either Central Park, Barking Park, St Chads Park or Newlands Park on Wednesday 9 January or Friday 11 January, where it will be recycled.
Christmas trees will be collected between 6 January and 3 February 2019 if left out by your bin on your collection day. Ensure that your tree is broken in half.
They only be collecting Christmas trees from properties which are part of the garden waste service. Cut your tree in half and place it next to your garden waste bin on your collection day.
Garden waste collections will be suspended week commencing 24 December for two weeks – resuming again on Monday 7 January.
Take it to a drop off point in a local park or green space from 31 December 2018 – 13 January 2019.
Take it to the Reuse and Recycling Centre on Abbey Road – Closed on 1 January 2019.
Arrange for it to be collected as part of the bulky waste service.
They provide a free Christmas tree recycling service for residents at temporary sites around the borough.
Saturday 5 January 2019: 11am to 4pm
- Bromley, Norman Park (Hook Farm Road entrance off Bromley Common, A21)
- Green Street Green, Salt Depot (Shire Lane ‘spur’, off Sevenoaks Road)
- St Paul’s Cray, Cotmandene Crescent car park (off Chipperfield Road)
Sunday 6 January 2019: 8am to 12noon
- Beckenham, Unicorn Primary School (Creswell Drive off South Eden Park Road)
- Biggin Hill, Charles Darwin School (Jail Lane)
Christmas tree recycling points will be open across the borough from Wednesday 2 January – Monday 14 January 2019.
Christmas trees can also be collected as part of the large household item collection service (charges may apply).
City of London
Trees can be taken to collection points advertised on their website and on estates just after Christmas. These will then be composted.
Place your tree out for collection on your refuse collection day between Monday 14 January and Friday 25 January. Before you put your tree out for collection, please make sure you have removed all decorations, stands and pots. If these have not been removed, your tree may not be collected.
If you don’t live in a kerbside property, you can still recycle your Christmas tree for free by taking it to a Household Reuse and Recycling Centre.
Christmas trees will be collected for recycling on certain days during January – or, alternatively, can be taken to a number of collection points around the borough in local parks.
If you receive a garden recycling collection put your tree out for collection with your garden waste on your collection day. If your tree is taller than 6ft take it to one of the parks listed below or cut into smaller pieces as it cannot be collected otherwise.
Until Sunday 13th January 2019 trees can also be taken to: Pymmes Park, Bush Hill Park, Bury Lodge Gdns, Town Park, Jubilee Park, Albany Park, Arnos Park, Durants Park, Broomfield Park, Tottenhall Sports Grd, Oakwood Park, Grovelands Park and Trent Park.
Trees to be left inside park gate for collection by park staff.
Trees can be taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre after this date.
They’ll collect trees on your normal collection date. If you don’t have a green-top bin you can still leave your tree at the front of your property.
If you live in a flat you should leave your real tree by the bin store.
The council will collect your tree from your home from 2-11 January, on your rubbish and recycling day. Put your tree out at the front boundary of your property by 7am, with all decorations removed.
If you live in a block or estate, leave it next to your communal bins (not inside them), making sure you do not block access to the bins.
Hammersmith and Fulham
If you normally get an on-street waste collection, simply leave your tree where you’d leave your rubbish, before 7am on your collection day between Wednesday 2 and Tuesday 15 January 2019. Trees will be collected in the afternoon.
You can take your tree to one of the designated drop-off points below:
- Bishops Park (next to cafe, Bishops Park Road/Stevenage Road entrance)
- Cathnor Park (next to the play area, Greenside Road)
- Fulham Palace Road Cemetery (opposite Queensmill Road)
- Loris Road Community Gardens (Batoum Gardens)
- New Kings Road (on edge of Eel Brook Common)
- Normand Park (opposite Lillie Road entrance)
- Ravenscourt Park (by football pitch, access by foot via Ravenscourt Park Road)
- South Park (hard standing next to cricket nets, access by foot via Woolneigh Street)
- Wormholt Park (Sawley Road entrance)
- Wormwood Scrubs car park (off Scrubs Lane)
If you live in a kerbside property, you can cut your tree into smaller pieces (maximum length 1 metre or 3 feet) and put it out for collection.
Christmas trees can also be taken to Haringey’s Reuse and Recycling Centre in Wood Green – Western Road, N22 6UG
Alternatively, you can take them to designated sites in certain parks – this is only offered for four weeks after Christmas Day.
This service will be available at:
- Albert Recreation Ground
- Down Lane Park
- Bruce Castle Park
- Downhills Park
- Priory Park
- Finsbury Park
The Gardens Residents’ Association at Doncaster Gardens will also have a Christmas tree recycling point
No specific service (that I can find), but if you chop the tree up into small pieces, and pay for their garden waste service, then that will collect the tree.
Alternatively, you can take the tree to their recycling centre.
You can recycle your Christmas trees by taking it to Gidea Park Sports Ground, Main Road, Romford on Saturday 5 January 2019 between 10am – 2pm.
You can also take your tree to Gerpins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre.
If you are a garden waste customer you can also cut your tree into pieces and place it in your garden bin.
Christmas trees can be recycled for free as part of the weekly garden waste collection service.
Residents who live in flats (which do not receive a garden waste service) can place their Christmas tree’s out for collection during January, starting from Monday 7. Residents must call the Contact Centre on 01895 556000 to inform them that there are tree’s to be collected as there is no normal crew which visits these properties.
Christmas trees will be collected in January 2019 between Monday 7 January and Friday 18 January 2019. You need to place your Christmas tree out for collection on specific dates.
Residents that live in a flat should either speak to their managing agent and/or landlord on how to dispose of their tree or alternatively drop it off at one of the drop-off points listed below.
You can also drop your Christmas tree off at designated collection points at:
- Hanworth Air Park – Car park opposite 158A Hounslow Road, Feltham TW13 6AA
- Hounslow Heath – Car park opposite, 495 – 497, Staines Road, Hounslow TW4 5AR
- Redlees Park – Worton Road car park, Isleworth, TW7 6DW (taped area only) or
- Bedfont Lakes – Clockhouse Lane car park, TW14 8QA throughout January
From 6 January put your tree on the edge of your property for collection on your recycling day or take your tree to one of the drop off points.
Estate residents – they will collect Christmas trees on 6, 13 and 20 January. This will generally be where bulky waste is taken for collection.
Flats above shops – place your tree out on 12th night (6 January) at your normal recycling collection point.
Between 30 December – 20 January 2018 you can drop your Christmas trees at these locations:
- King Square Gardens EC1V
- Barnard Park, Charlotte Terrace N1
- Highbury Crescent, near playground entrance N5
- Elthorne Park N19
- Spa Fields (off Northampton Road) EC1R
- Tufnell Park, Campdale Road N7
- Paradise Park, Lough Road / MacKenzie Road entrance N7
- Rosemary Gardens junction with Balmes Road N1
- Wray Crescent, park end N4
Reuse and Recycling Centre, Hornsey Street also accepts green waste and Christmas trees all year round.
Kensington and Chelsea
You can recycle your tree for free by dropping it off at the tree recycling locations between Wednesday 2 and Sunday 20 January 2019.
They will also collect from houses on your rubbish and recycling collection day, between Wednesday 2 and Sunday 20 January 2019.
Kingston upon Thames
Leave the tree at the front boundary of your property on your black wheelie bin collection day between 7 and 19 January 2019.
If you would like to dispose of your Christmas tree outside of these dates, please take it to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre.
If you’re a resident in a flat on a Lambeth Housing estate, leave your tree next to the bin area or in the bulk collection area. For residents in other flats, please check with your managing agent.
If you’re a resident in a kerbside property that receives food waste collections, please leave your tree next to your refuse and recycling containers on your collection day. Not every tree will be able to be taken on your first collection. Please continue presenting your tree next to your bins on collection day throughout January if it’s not collected on the first pass.
Recycle your real Christmas tree at any of the following points, throughout January 2019. Trees can be brought to the recycle points at any time of the day.
- Hilly Fields, entrance in Hilly Fields Crescent
- Deptford Park, entrance in Scawen Road
- Telegraph Hill, Pepys Road/Kitto Road entrance
- Talbot Place, Blackheath
- Mountsfield Park, entrance at top of George Lane
- Sydenham Wells Park, entrance Wells Park Road
- Forster Memorial Park, entrance top of Whitefoot Lane
- Northbrook Park, Baring Road entrance
- Mayow Park, entrance in Mayow Road
- Chinbrook Meadows, Amblecote Road
- Manor House Gardens, Old Road entrance
If you have a garden waste bin, you can use this to dispose of your real Christmas tree. Just cut it into sizes no more than 10cm thick and 50cm long.
You can take your real Christmas tree to the recycling centre in Morden, or they can collect it free of charge.
Put your tree out before 6am on Monday 7 January. If you put your tree out later than this they may not collect it. Place the tree at the front edge of your property so that it can be seen and easily reached from the pavement, but not on the pavement.
Trees will be collected by Thursday 17 January at the latest.
Does not appear to have a dedicated service, but if you cut trees up enough to fit in a garden waste bag, they will collect them
You can also take trees to the recycling centre at Jenkins Lane, if you pay for that facility.
They’re offering a Christmas tree collection service which will run for 2 weeks between Monday 14 January and Friday 25 January 2019. However, they don’t offer a specific day of collection so place your tree, with all decorations removed, out from Monday 14 January at the boundary of your property (ensuring it is visible).
Alternatively, you can take your tree for free to Chigwell Road tip or any other refuse and recycling centre.
Richmond upon Thames
The council will collect your real Christmas tree for recycling on the normal scheduled garden waste collection day for your street between Monday 7 and Friday 18 January 2019.
Alternatively you can take your tree to the Recycling Centre in Townmead Road.
Christmas trees will also be collected from the sites listed below commencing Wednesday 2 January 2019:
- Barn Elms Sports Centre, SW13 0DG
- Squire’s Garden Centre car park, Sixth Cross Road, TW2 5PA
- Old Deer Car Park, TW9 2RA
- Ham Street Car Park, TW10 7RS
- Nelson Road Car Park, TW2 7BB
- Hampton Library car park, TW12 2AB
- North Lane Car Park, TW11 0HJ
If you have a food and garden waste collection real Christmas trees can be collected as part of your normal household collection, simply leave it by your bin on collection day or;
If you don’t have a food and garden waste collection now, you just need to book a special one off garden collection on their website or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your address, so they can add it to the next collection in your area. You will need to make sure it is accessible for the crew to collect
Alternatively Christmas trees can be taken to the Reuse and Recycling centre on Devon Street (off old Kent Road).
From Monday 14 to Saturday 26 January 2019, Sutton council will be collecting real Christmas trees for free from houses on the standard kerbside collection service.
Alternatively, from Saturday 5 January to Sunday 13 January there will be three locations across the borough where you can drop off your real Christmas tree to be recycled.
The sites will be open from 9:30am-3:30pm
- The Mount, Clockhouse – on the green opposite the Jack & Jill pub, CR5 2QY
- Roundshaw Park, Lindbergh Road, SM6 9HB
- Kimpton Refuse and Recycling Centre, Kimpton Park Way SM3 9QH
There will be a collection for the recycling of real Christmas trees from 7-21 January 2019.
If you currently receive a kerbside food and garden waste collection, leave out for collection on your scheduled day during this period. If you do not have kerbside services, contact your property landlord or management company who can arrange collections from the nominated communal collection points.
Also, Tower Hamlets Cemetery are asking for trees to be donated so they can be used to make wildlife hedges.
For residents with wheeled bins, leave your real Christmas tree next to your bins on the day of collection.
For residents living in flats book a free collection for your real Christmas tree.
Trees will collected by ward from Monday 7 January
The council will be aiming to collect all unwanted trees from people’s front gardens on their scheduled refuse and recycling collection days between Friday, January 4 and Friday, January 18.
Residents with front gardens should place any trees for collection alongside their dustbins and recycling sacks.
Those without front gardens can place them on the pavement directly in front of their home but only if it does not cause an obstruction. These trees should not be left out for collection any earlier than 6.30pm on the day before the collection is due.
Residents who live in blocks of flats should leave their trees near to their refuse bin store, making sure they do not block access.
Westminster has 26 recycling points for real Christmas trees. You can take your tree to a drop-off point between Saturday 29 December and Sunday 13 January 2019.
Opening hours are 8am to 8pm unless they are in parks, which close at 4.30pm.
And finally… a moan
This is something that’s irked me for some time, but I remembered it strongly while compiling this list — and that is why do people living in flats often get an inferior service from councils than people living in houses.
It costs the council far less money to go to a block of flats and grab a few of the big communal bins than it does to slowly parade along residential streets emptying each house bin one at a time.
So, flat owners save the council money, but when it comes to services such as Christmas trees, while most councils are happy to go door-to-door collecting from homes, they tend to expect flat dwellers to take their tree to a collection point.
And most flat owners don’t own cars, unlike most home owners, so lugging a tree to a recycling centre should be much easier for people living in houses than for people living in flats. But who gets the doorside collection? The houses, not the flats.
Yes there will be differences in logistics and how to handle collecting 40 trees from one location instead of spread along a road.
But, if people living in flats are expected to pay the same council tax as people living in houses, then they shouldn’t be treated as second-class citizens in terms of council services.