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Recycle Your Tree with Denver’s Treecycle Program


Recycling your holiday tree is as easy as ever thanks to Denver Recycles’ annual Treecycle program. For every tree recycled with TreecycleDenver residents help keep organic material out of the landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create mulch that is made available to Denver residents for free at the annual Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale in May.

image of treecycle 2018 logo

Participating in Treecycle is easy, free, and truly a no-brainer. After the holidays, follow these easy steps to recycle your tree:

  1. Remove all decorations, lights, and the tree stand from your tree.
  2. Set your tree out for collection at your normal trash set-out location by 7 a.m. on Friday, January 5th or by 7 a.m. on Friday, January 12th.
  3. Reclaim free mulch made from your tree at the annual Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale in May 2018.

graphic of Treecycle Collection Schedule for 2018

Program Reminders:

  • Only natural, real trees are collected by Treecycle crews. No artificial or flocked trees.
  • Trees set out by 7 a.m. on Friday, January 5th will be collected by 5 p.m. Monday, January 8th.
  • Trees set out by 7 a.m. on Friday, January 12th will be collected by 5 p.m.  Monday, January 15th.
  • Trees will not be collected by Extra Trash crews during the first two weeks of January.
  • Trees must be placed at least two feet away from collection carts, structures and other obstacles. Do NOT place trees inside bags or trash carts.
  • Trees may also be dropped off at one of two Treecyle drop-off sites, open through January 31st.
  • Treecycle is for Denver residents only.

Last year, Denver residents recycled more than 20,000 trees. Participate in this year’s Treecycle program and help Denver recycle even more!

For more information about Treecycle, the Annual Mulch Giveaway and Compost Sale or other Denver Recycles programs, visit call 311 (720-913-1311).

‘Tis the Season to Recycle and Compost!

The holiday season is here, and with it comes an increase in family gatherings, parties, food, more food, and waste! The U.S. E.P.A. estimates that American households generate 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. With all this added stuff in the waste stream, there’s never been a better time to focus on recycling and composting. The more material that can be kept out of the landfill by reducing, reusing and recycling this season, the merrier!

Make waste reduction part of your family’s holiday tradition, by reducing, reusing, recycling and composting even more this season. Here are a few tips to get you started:


  • Give the Gift of Reuse. Shopping with reusable bags reduces paper and plastic waste, and wrapping gifts with reusable bags does the same! Rather than using single-use paper gift bags or wrap, consider using reusable bags or other functional items to “wrap” gifts. In doing so, you can turn one gift into two!
  • Shop with Waste in Mind. Always watch for opportunities to purchase your holiday food staples in bulk. If that’s not possible, choose packaging that can be recycled or composted.


  • Remember the Recycling Basics. Most holiday food packaging such empty bottles, cans, cartons, and tubs are recyclable in Denver’s purple carts. The same is true for plain wrapping paper and holiday cards. Remember-- plastic bags, photo paper, bubble wrap and tissue paper do NOT belong in purple recycle carts and should be avoided, reused, or placed in the trash.
  • Compost Your Food and Napkins. The Denver Composts program is now offered to all Denver neighborhoods and is perfect for keeping wasted food, leftovers, bones, dairy, vegetable scraps, and paper napkins out of the landfill. Denver Composts is a fee-based service for Solid Waste Management customers.

graphic with images of holiday items accepted for recycling or composting

  • Recycle Your Tree with Denver Treecycle Denver’s Treecycle program turns discarded trees into mulch after the holidays. It’s free and easy to participate. Detailed instructions can be found at
  • Recycle Your Holiday Lights. Bring your old or broken holiday lights to Denver Recycles’ Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off until January 20, 2018. Be sure to check detailed guidelines and hours of operation before making the trip.

graphic with images of special seasonal items that can be recycled or composted

For more ideas on how to reduce waste, additional information about Denver’s recycling guidelines, and details related to the seasonal recycling programs offered by Denver Recycles, visit or call 311 (720-913-1311).

Apply Today to Become a Denver Master Composter

Now is your chance to become an expert composter and recycler, and to help curb the culture of waste in Denver!

image of Become a Denver Master Composter 

image of master composters on tourThe Denver Master Composter Training Program offers Denver residents a unique opportunity to learn about composting and recycling topics, and to give back to the community by sharing this information with others. Through classroom seminars and hands-on experiences, Master Composter participants study a broad range of topics, including the science behind the composting process, compost pile construction, resource conservation, and recycling. In return, Master Composters share this newly acquired knowledge with the community by teaching free “Learn to Compost” workshops and by participating in outreach events at community gardens, schools and local farmers’ markets.  Through learning and giving back to the community, Master Compost volunteers also build a community of their own – one of like-minded individuals that are motivated to make positive changes in Denver.  

No prior composting experience is required for this program, but all program participants must be able to commit to the following:

  • In-Depth Compost Education – 40 hours. Classroom sessions are held on Monday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., March through April. Additional sessions are held on weekends in late April. An all-day Friday field trip in mid-April is also required.

  • Community Outreach – 40 hours. Volunteer give-back hours are self-paced, but include some weeknights and weekends from May through October.

  • Hands-on Work Days – Ongoing. You’ll want your boots and gardening gloves for these, May through October.

The Master Composter Training Program is a significant commitment, but a very rewarding experience for those selected to participate. Applications for the 2018 program are accepted now through January 2018. To view more detailed program information and application details, visit or call 303-292-9900.

Recycle Your Holiday Lights!

image of Recycle Your Holiday Lights logo 

Do you have broken, burned-out or impossibly tangled sets of holiday lights stored away with last year’s holiday decorations? Don’t throw them out – recycle them for free instead!

Denver Recycles will collect and recycle holiday lights from November 15, 2017 to January 20, 2018 at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off  located near the intersection of S. Quebec St. and E. Cherry Creek South Drive (enter going south on Cherry Creek Drive South and follow the signs). The Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off hours of operation are Tuesdays - Fridays from 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturdays from 9 AM to 3 PM.  The Drop-off is closed on Sundays, Mondays and City holidays. 

Incandescent, LED, and “icicle” light strings, along with wires and attached bulbs, will be accepted for recycling. No bubble (liquid-filled) or neon lights. All packaging material and bags must be removed from the light strands prior to recycling. Don’t delay-- bring us your old holiday lights today! 

image of tangled up holiday lightsHoliday lights cannot be recycled in purple carts or other regular single-stream recycling programs, but they do contain materials that are perfectly recyclable when processed appropriately. Components of your discarded lights, such as copper, brass, and plastic, will be separated and recycled into new products (possibly even new strands of holiday lights!). Just think of the energy savings you’ll see by phasing out old strands of incandescent bulbs and replacing them with energy-efficient LED holiday lights.


For more information on the Recycle Your Holiday Lights program, contact Denver Recycles at 311 (720-913-1311) or visit For more resources on saving energy and improving your home’s comfort this winter season, visit



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