How and where to recycle old Christmas decorations

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Christmas has come and gone and now it is time to get rid of that nearly dried-out tree, that old string of lights, and all that torn wrapping paper.

Here’s what you need to know about recycling your decorations and where you can do it.

Christmas Trees

Before you get ready to recycle your Christmas tree, Charleston County Environmental Management says you should remove all lights and ornaments.

The following options are available for recycling trees in the area:

Charleston County

  • Charleston County residents can place their Christmas trees on the curb for recycling pickup on their municipalities’ reguarly scheduled day. Keep in mind that recycling this week is pushed back one day, due to no pick up on December 27.
  • Residents can also drop their tree off directly at a staffed convenience center (excludes Signal Point Rd. location) or at McGill Bees Ferry Compost Facility.

Berkeley County

  • Beaufort County residents who have decals are encouraged to bring live Christmas trees to any County Convenience Center during normal Center hours.
  • For residents who do not have Convenience Center decals, Christmas trees can be brought to the Shanklin Road, Beaufort or Simmonsville Road, Bluffton locations only

Dorchester County

  • Residents who live within the Town of Summerville or City of North Charleston can place their trees curbside for reguarly scheduled pick up service
  • You can also take your tree directly to one of the following sites:
    • Miles Road Convenience Site
    • Sandy Pines Convenience Site

Can I burn my Christmas tree?

You should NOT burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood-burning stove as this could increase the risk of a house fire.

Holiday Lights

String lights should NOT be placed in your recycling bin. Anything seen as a “tangler” could cause damage to the recycling sorting equipment.

Here are some options instead of local recycling:

  • Holiday LEDs has a Christmas lights recycling program where you can send in your old, used lights and recieve an online coupon in return
  • Christmas Light Source also has a recycling program where you can send in your old lights and they will take them to be recycled. All recycling proceeds are saved and used to purchase items for Toys for Tots.

Other Holiday Recycling

Charleston County Recycling has released a list of which items can/cannot go in your recycling bin.

The following items CAN be recycled:

  • Gift boxes
  • Flattened cardboard
  • Tissue paper
  • Shoe boxes
  • Paper gift bags
  • Wrapping paper
  • Cards and envelopes

The following items CANNOT be recycled:

  • Ribbons and bows
  • Holiday lights
  • Bubble wrap
  • Plastic wrap
  • Styrofoam packaging/ peanuts
  • Plastic shopping bags

If in doubt whether an item can be recycled or not, it is always a good idea to check with your local recycling service.

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