Recycle Your Christmas Tree with Denver’s Treecycle Program

It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

Recycling your Christmas tree is as easy as 1, 2, 3 with Denver Recycles/Solid Waste Management’s annual Treecycle program, which runs January 5 through January 16, 2015.

By recycling your tree through the Treeycycle program, you can help keep trees out of the landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create mulch that is available to Denver residents for free at the annual Mulch Giveaway in the spring.

 Here’s how to recycle your Christmas tree:  

1.    Remove all decorations and the tree stand. NO artificial or flocked trees. Real evergreen trees only!   

2.    Set your tree out for collection during the first two full weeks of January. Your tree will get picked up by a special tree collection truck for recycling.   

3.    Reclaim free mulch made from your tree at the Treecycle Mulch Giveaway and LeafDrop Compost Sale on Saturday, May 2, 2015.  

Please note, collection days and set-out locations depend on your trash service type. Manual & Cart customers should set trees out at their trash set-out locations by 7 a.m. on their trash collection day during the week of January 5 or the week of January 12. Dumpster customers should set trees in the alley by 7 a.m. on either Monday, January 5 OR Monday, January 12 for collection sometime during the respective week.   

Do not place trees in carts or dumpsters. Trees placed in dumpsters are mixed in with other trash and do not get recycled. Instead, trees should be placed at least 2 feet away from dumpsters and other obstacles for collection by the special tree-only collection truck. 

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

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

Apply Now to Become a Master Composter

Are you interested in becoming an expert in composting and recycling and then sharing your knowledge in the community?  If so, apply now to become a Master Composter!  Selected volunteers will learn all about composting and recycling through hands-on sessions that cover a range of topics, including how to compost at home, the role of organic material in soil health, and the importance of resource conservation.  Once trained, Master Composters share conservation information with the public at free “Learn to Compost” classes, schools, community events and outdoor markets.  Becoming a Master Composter is a great way to enhance your knowledge of composting and waste reduction, contribute to your community, and meet lots of new and interesting people!  

No prior composting experience is required; however, program participants must be able to commit to attend 40 hours of instruction in compost science, compost bin construction, worm composting, urban gardening, recycling, solid waste management and community outreach.  Participation in facility tours and work sessions at the compost demonstration site is also required.  In exchange for 40 hours of training each program participant performs 40 hours of outreach by teaching others about composting and recycling practices. 

Applications for the 2015 program are being accepted now through December 17th, 2014.  Approximately 30 enthusiastic and committed volunteers are selected each year for the program.  Training classes are held about once a week for ten consecutive weeks starting in late February.  Classes are held on Monday evenings, a few Saturday mornings and one Friday field trip day in April.  Please review the 2015 schedule at  If you are interested in the program, and can commit to the published schedule, please call Judy Elliot of Denver Urban Gardens at 720-404-0621 to learn more and to start making Denver a greener place to live.   

The Denver Master Composter Program is a joint project of Denver Recycles and Denver Urban Gardens.  Learn more at and  

Common Recycling Mistakes to Avoid This Holiday Season

Did you know, Americans generate 25 percent more waste than normal between Thanksgiving and New Year’s? During this year’s busy holiday season, we encourage you to be creative and find ways to first reduce and reuse, and then correctly recycle all remaining recyclables in your purple cart.  

Here are a few recycling reminders that are particularly relevant around the holidays:   

  • NO POLYSTYRENE FOAM (STYROFOAM ®) – This means no plastic foam should go in your purple cart. This includes packaging materials (like those used to protect fragile items like computers and TVs), foam cups and plates, foam food containers and foam packing peanuts—even if the foam has a recycling symbol on it. Only rigid non-foam plastic containers (bottles, jugs, jars, tubs, cups, trays) marked with a number 1-7 are recyclable in Denver. 
  • NO PLASTIC BAGS – Plastic bags cause a lot of problems at the recycling processing center. Please place all of your recyclables loose in your purple cart. To recycle plastic bags, take them to a specially marked collection container at your local grocery store. 
  • NO TISSUE PAPER, GLITTER-COATED OR FOIL-COATED PAPER – These types of paper cannot be recycled, so please keep them out of your recycling cart.   
  • PLAIN WRAPPING PAPER IS OK – You can recycle your plain, non-glitter wrapping paper, as long as all ribbons and bows are removed. Consider buying plain paper this year or, better yet, use repurposed materials for a unique and personalized spin to your gift wrapping. Paper grocery bags, newspaper, or your old maps and posters can make great wrapping paper too!  
  • GREETING CARDS – Plain greeting cards are recyclable, but holiday photo cards printed on photographic paper, foil-coated cards and electronic greeting cards are not recyclable so please keep them out of your recycling cart.  
  • SAVE AND REUSE WRAPPING PAPER AND GIFT BAGS – Save money, landfill space, and help the environment by keeping your gift bags, tissue paper and wrapping paper for use again next year.  Also, consider using re-useable shopping bags as gift bags this year and give your family and friends two gifts in one!   As you clean up after your holiday festivities, please make sure you only place items accepted by Denver’s residential recycling program into your purple recycling cart.

For additional information and more recycling guidelines, visit    

Editor's Note:

The Denver Recycles’ Roundup is a periodic news column sponsored by Denver Recycles, a program of Denver Public Works/Solid Waste Management. It includes updates on seasonal and ongoing activities related to the City and County of Denver's recycling programs. Editors are invited to publish all or part of the column; however, we request that you run major edits by our staff to ensure accuracy of the information. Questions may be directed to Denver Recycles.