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Christmas tree recycling service offered by Kent councils


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It’s nearly the twelfth day of Christmas, which traditionally means it’s time to take down your Christmas tree.

Though many enjoy receiving presents over the festive period, a highlight in many households is the family affair of putting up the tree.

But traditionally it's unlucky to leave Christmas decorations up after January 6, so here's your guide to getting treeless in the nick of time.

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Martyn Jeynes, waste and street scene manager for Maidstone Borough Council, said: “Once you’ve finished with your tree and you’ve taken all of the decorations off, you can put them in your garden waste bin.

“It’s important that the natural trees are not put into landfill, and that we recycle them.

VIDEO: Here's the best way to get rid of your tree.

"All local authorities have their own arrangements, it’s important you check the local websites to see what the arrangements are.

“If you don’t have a garden waste bin then you should take it to your local household waste recycling centre, which are available all across Kent, or alternatively try the people you bought the tree from as many of them do a chipping service.”

Martyn Jeynes, waste and street scene manager for Maidstone Borough Council
Martyn Jeynes, waste and street scene manager for Maidstone Borough Council

It's not just recycling that's key, as many unsold trees will be put back underground.

Owner of Kingswood Christmas Trees in Maidstone, Robert Schroeder said: “We get a few trees left over, we trade right up until 4pm on Christmas Eve but we have a few left over which are mulched and put back underground."

The Christmas Tree Growers Association believe 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.

Some of the trees at Kingswood which didn't make the cut this year
Some of the trees at Kingswood which didn't make the cut this year

Mr Schroeder said: “It’s a British product and it supports British agriculture and a rural economy as a whole.

“I think there is a trend towards real trees as a plastic tree is not a real tree!”

Robert Schroeder, owner of Kingswood Christmas Trees
Robert Schroeder, owner of Kingswood Christmas Trees

The farm plants 7,000 to 9,000 trees each year with the aim of selling 5,000 by Christmas.

To find out what your council is offering for tree recycling, see below:

Ashford

If you aren’t keeping your living tree, take it to Ashford’s Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate for recycling.

If you subscribe to the council's garden recycling service, you can place your cut up tree in your brown wheeled bin. To sign up to the fortnightly garden recycling collection service click here.

Or, the Pilgrims Hospice in Ashford offer a treecycling service. This weekend volunteers for the charity will collect real trees from homes across the borough for a donation. Go here for more information.

Canterbury

Will collect your real Christmas trees in January. Put them out for collection on your scheduled recycling collection day between Monday, January 4 and Tuesday, January 19.

Dartford

Put your real Christmas tree in your brown bin for recycling or take it to the Household Waste Recycling Centres at Pepperhill or Dartford Heath for recycling.

Dover

Real Christmas trees will be collected from Friday, January 8 in your garden waste collection if you are a subscriber to this service.

Gravesham

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

Alternatively, attach a garden waste ticket to the tree and put it out with your black sacks on your collection day.

Or you could take it to the Pepperhill Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

Maidstone

If you subscribe to the garden waste collections you can put your real Christmas tree out next to your garden bin on your collection day, or you can take it to the Tovil Recycling site.

Medway

Christmas trees will be collected by putting the tree next to your brown reusable bag or brown wheelie been. Alternatively you can take it to a household waste recycling centre.

Sevenoaks

From Saturday, January 2, until Friday, January 29, the council will collect your real Christmas tree for free with the fortnightly garden waste service so it can be shredded into environmentally friendly compost.

Remove ornaments, stands or pots and do not cut up the tree or put it into a bin.

If the trunk is bigger than 3.5 inches in diameter, it's too big for collection so you can take it to your local household recycling centre.

Shepway

If you are signed up for the garden waste scheme put your tree next to your brown lid bin on your normal garden waste collection day.

Other customers should email customer services who will organise a free collection.

Swale

You can place your cut up real tree and place in your brown bin and we will collect it if you subscribe to the garden recycling service. The broken up tree must fit in the brown bin with the lid closed.

Thanet

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

Tonbridge and Malling

Residents can compost their real Christmas trees by placing them in or next to their green-lidded bin with all decorations removed and larger trees cut up.

They will be shredded at the composting facility.

Trees 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.

Tunbridge Wells

After Christmas the council can collect real Christmas trees with a trunk diameter of less than two inches.

Leave your tree with your brown or green bin on your collection day.

Larger trees can be taken to the household waste recycling centre at North Farm in Tunbridge Wells.

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