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How to recycle your Christmas Tree in Kent

More and more people in the county are growing increasingly aware of how important it is to take care of our planet.

Whether that means eating less meat, using less single use plastic or saving water, every little helps.

Traditionally trees are taken down 12 days after Christmas, on January 5. Picture: Paul Amos
Traditionally trees are taken down 12 days after Christmas, on January 5. Picture: Paul Amos

And that doesn't need to stop at Christmas time.

Real trees are recyclable and can be shredded into chippings which are then used in parks or woodland areas.

But owners are advised to remember to remove all tinsel and decorations and any pots or stands first.

So to help you do your bit for the environment, we've compiled a list of the best ways to recycle your Christmas tree this New Year, depending on where in the county you live.

Happy tree-cycling...

Many councils are collecting real trees as part of the garden waste collections
Many councils are collecting real trees as part of the garden waste collections

Ashford

Residents can recycle their trees at the household waste and recycling centre in Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate.

Subscribers to Ashford Borough Council's garden recycling service can also place a cut-up tree in their brown wheelie bin for collection.

You can also sign up to the Pilgrims Hospices Tree Recycling scheme - simply register your tree in return for a donation and the team of volunteers will collect it from you on Saturday, January 11. Register here.

Canterbury

Canterbury City Council have suspended their garden waste collection over January and February, but Christmas trees will be collected with the fortnightly recycling.

So residents are advised to put their trees out on whatever day their recycling is collected between January 13 and 24.

Residents can also visit the Canterbury Household Waste Recycling Centre, off Vauxhall Road, or Studd Hill Household Waste Recycling Centre, in Westbook Lane, Herne Bay.

Dartford

Residents who are signed up to the council's garden waste collection service can leave their real Christmas trees in their brown bins, however this service does not start again until January 7.

They can also visit Dartford Household Waste Recycling Centre, in Old Rochester Way, Dartford Heath, from today.

It is open Monday to Saturday 8am to 4.30pm and between 9am and 4pm on Sundays.

Old trees can be turned into chippings for parks
Old trees can be turned into chippings for parks

Dover

Dover District Council offer a real Christmas tree recycling service to all its garden waste subscribers.

People are advised to place their tree out on their normal garden waste day between Monday, January 6 and Friday, January 31.

There is also a Household Waste Recycling Centre in Honeywood Road, Whitfield.

Folkestone

Folkestone and Hythe District Council offer a real Christmas tree recycling service from January 6 to January 31.

If you subscribe to the garden waste scheme you just put your Christmas tree next to your brown lidded bin on your normal garden waste collection day when the service starts again from Monday, January 6.

Other residents can complete a booking form requesting the council collects their tree here.

There is a tip in Ross Way at Shorncliffe too.

Gravesend

Residents can leave their trees in their brown bin, similar to Dartford.

If they're not signed up, they can visit Pepper Hill Recycling Centre, in Station Rd, Southfleet, Gravesend.

It is open Monday to Saturday 8am to 4.30pm and between 9am and 4pm on Sundays.

Maidstone

Maidstone Borough Council advise that subscribers to their garden waste collections can place their tree next to their green bin and it will be collected with the garden waste.

If you do not subscribe you'll need to take your real tree to Tovil tip, in Burial Ground Lane.

The authority also advises that unwanted artificial trees can be donated to charity shops or taken to the recycling centre.

The council also, helpfully, gives directions on recycling decorations and wrapping paper.

Unwanted glass and plastic baubles should go in the general waste, along with tinsel.

Wrapping paper should be subjected to the scrunch test - this means if you scrunch the paper into a tight ball in your hand and it stays scrunched it can be recycled.

Laminated and glittery paper cannot be recycled however.

Residents are reminded to remove all decorations before recycling their real trees
Residents are reminded to remove all decorations before recycling their real trees

Medway

People can take their old Christmas trees to Capstone Waste and Recyling Centre, in Shawstead Road, Capstone, from today.

They can also visit the Hoath Way centre in Ambley Road, Gillingham and visit the Cuxton tip, in Sundridge Hill, Cuxton.

All the above are open Monday to Saturday 8pm to 4.15pm and from 9am to 3.45pm on Sundays.

Sevenoaks

Sevenoaks District Council turn Christmas trees into environmentally friendly compost.

All residents - not just those signed up to the garden waste collection service - can take advantage of this free service by leaving their trees out between today and Friday, January 31.

Trees need to be left by your property boundary, and visible from the road, by 7am on the day the service visits your road.

But the authority warns that trees with trunks more than 89mm (3.5" in diameter) cannot be collected.

Instead, they can be taken to Sevenoaks Household Waste Recycling Centre, in Main Road, Dunbrik, Sundridge.

Swale

Swale District Council does not collect natural Christmas trees.

Instead it advises residents take them to one of three tips: Sheerness Household Waste Recycling Centre, Faversham Household Waste Recycling Centre or Sittingbourne Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Thanet

Like Swale, Thanet District Council does not collect trees as part of its regular waste and recycling collections.

Residents can take them to the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Margate or Sandwich for recycling.

Until next year, Christmas tree...
Until next year, Christmas tree...

Tonbridge and Malling

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council have advised people to put their trees in their green lidded bins if they want them to be composted.

Alternatively, nearby household waste and recycling centres can be found at Tovil in Maidstone, North Farm in Tunbridge Wells and at Sundridge in Sevenoaks.

Tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council direct residents to put their real trees out with their black garden waste bins for collection, as long as the trunk is under three inches (7.5cm) thick.

If your tree is over six feet tall, it will need to be cut in half.

If you're not signed up to the garden waste scheme, trees will need to be taken to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre at North Farm.

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