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What to do with your Christmas tree in your area

By Katie Davis

The festivities may be drawing to a close, but as you're taking down the lights and removing the decorations from the tree, spare a moment to ponder where your spruce ends up.

It is tradition for the decorations to be taken down by the end of the twelfth day of Christmas, which falls on Friday, January 6 - so we've put together ways you can dispose of your tree in time in your area.

According to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, one third of people have a real tree, a third have an artificial one and a third don't have one over the festive period at all.

How will you recycle your tree this year? Picture: Getty Images
How will you recycle your tree this year? Picture: Getty Images

But if you're part of the first third, make sure you check below how to dispose of your tree properly.


Trees can be taken to Ashford’s Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate for recycling.

However, if you are subscribed to the

garden recycling service, you can cut your tree up and place it in your brown bin.

Residents in the Ashford Borough Council area can use the Pilgrim's Hospice Treecycling service by registering online before Sunday, January 8 for a donation of your choice.


Thanet does not offer a tree collection service. The council advises people to replant the tree or take it to your local household recycling centre.


Sevenoaks District Council are offering residents a pick-up service for real Christmas trees for free in January with the fortnightly Garden Waste Collection service.

Trees with a trunk of up to 90mm (3.5”) in diameter can be collected by the service until 3 February, which ensures all the trees are turned into environmentally friendly compost.

Cllr Matthew Dickins, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Direct and Trading Services, says: “We are pleased to be offering this free service once again to help residents recycle their trees after they have enjoyed them over Christmas.”

You should simply put their tree by the boundary of your property, where you would put your refuse or recycling sacks, by 7am on the day the Council’s Garden Waste Collection service takes place.

Trees should not be potted or on a stand, with all decorations removed before putting it out for recycling.

Trees with a trunk exceeding 90mm can be recycled at one of Kent County Council’s (KCC) Household Waste Recycling sites.

Tunbridge Wells:

Real Christmas trees can be put into the brown bin, although they may need to be cut up first to ensure the lid of the bin can be closed.

Trunks should not be any thicker than 10cm in diameter.

If you do not have space in your brown bin you should place your Christmas tree to the side of your bin on collection day and it will be collected.

Residents who are not covered by the brown bin collection scheme can dispose of their tree in the green bin or take their tree to the North Farm Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Around a third of us in the UK have a real tree for Christmas. Picture: GettyImages
Around a third of us in the UK have a real tree for Christmas. Picture: GettyImages


Christmas trees will be taken with your garden collections (subscribers only) from Monday 9 January to Friday 3 February 2017


If you subscribe to the garden waste service you can put your real Christmas tree next to your garden bin on your next available collection day.

Don't forget to remove any tinsel and baubles.

The last garden waste collection for this year is 23 Decemeber 2016 and will resume on 9 January 2017.

If you don't subscribe to the service you can take the tree to Tovil Recycling Centre.


They offer a real Christmas tree recycling service from January 9 to February 3. If you are signed up for the council's garden waste scheme put your tree next to your brown lid bin on your normal garden waste collection day - but there will be no garden waste collections from Boxing Day to Friday January 6.

A form to book your real Christmas tree recycling will be available on the website soon.


A Medway Council spokesperson said: “Real Christmas trees are extremely easy to recycle in Medway. Residents do not need to chop up their tree.

"We ask that the tree is left full next to the brown bin or other rubbish. That way the collection crew can pick it up quickly and place it in the back of the vehicle.

“There are many household items that can be recycled at Christmas time, such as the tin foil casing for mince pies. Find out more by following @MedwayRecycles on Twitter.”


Canterbury City Council will collect real Christmas trees in January on days marked with a Christmas tree on your collection calendar.


If you have a brown bin, you tree can be cut up and put in there. If not, trees can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres at Pepperhill or Dartford Heath for recycling.

Make sure all decorations are removed before disposing of it. Picture: GettyImages
Make sure all decorations are removed before disposing of it. Picture: GettyImages


If you are signed up to the garden waste collection service your tree can be collected in your brown bin.

Alternatively, trees can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre at Pepperhill.


You can place your cut up real tree and place in your brown bin and it will be collected it if you subscribe to the garden recycling service.

The broken up tree must fit in the brown bin with the lid closed.

Tonbridge and Malling:

Residents in Tonbridge and Malling can compost their real Christmas trees by placing them in or next to their green-lidded bin.

Christmas trees placed in or next to the green-lidded bin should have all decorations removed and large trees should be cut up.

As Christmas trees will be shredded at the composting facility, large trees may cause damage to the shredding equipment.

Generally, any tree up to six feet in length and with a trunk up to three inches in diameter can be placed out whole for collection.

Any tree longer or thicker than this should be cut up into smaller sections.

Residents may also take their Christmas trees to be recycled at one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres at Tovil (Maidstone), North Farm (Tunbridge Wells) and Sundridge (Sevenoaks), which are run by Kent County Council, or at Cuxton, run by Medway Council. Trees will be shredded and composted.

Cllr David Lettington, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Environment Services, said: “Christmas can be such a busy time but most Tonbridge and Malling residents still take the time to recycle as much of their rubbish as possible, which is great news. Here’s to another happy and ‘green’ festive season.”

Click here for some alternative recycling options

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