Depending on where you live in the greater Kawarthas region, you have different options for dealing with your discarded natural Christmas tree.
While some municipalities offer curbside collection of the trees (to use for compost or for wood chips), others require you to take the tree to a depot or landfill.
You can also recycle the tree yourself, including putting it in your backyard or garden for the birds. Some local farms also accept Christmas trees as a tasty and nutritious treat for goats.
City of Peterborough
Residents of the City of Peterborough can put their discarded natural Christmas tree at the curb for collection.
Curbside collection begins on Tuesday (January 4) and continues throughout the month of January, weather permitting. You do not need to call for collection.
Remove all decorations from the tree and do not wrap the tree in a bag or netting. If it snows heavily before your tree is collected, make sure your tree is free of snow and ice and visible for collection.
County of Peterborough
There’s no curbside collection of natural Christmas trees in Peterborough County. Instead, residents can drop them off at one of the following county depots during daylight hours:
2467 County Road 36 in Buckhorn, 713 County Road 4 in Douro, 649 County Road 46 in Havelock, 1111 County Road 10 in Millbrook, or 1275 County Road 24 (Centre Line Smith) in Selwyn.
All decorations, tree stands, lights, or bags must be removed. Artificial trees are not accepted.
City of Kawartha Lakes
There is no curbside collection of natural Christmas trees in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Residents can drop them off as leaf and yard waste at the following landfills: Laxton Digby Longford at 3225 Monck Road in Norland, Eldon at 311 Rockview Road in Kirkfield, Somerville 381 Ledge Hill Road in Burnt River, Fenelon at 314 Mark Road in Fenelon Falls, and Lindsay Ops at 51 Wilson Road in Lindsay.
There are new hours as of January 1, 2022 at all landfills in Kawartha Lakes; visit kawarthalakes.ca/en/living-here/landfills.aspx for more information.
In Cobourg, curbside collection of natural Christmas trees is planned for the week of January 10. Remove all decorations from the tree and do not wrap the tree in a bag or netting. Weather conditions may cause possible delays in pickup. If it snows heavily before your tree is collected, make sure your tree is free of snow and ice and visible for collection.
In Port Hope, curbside collection of natural Christmas trees will take place for urban residents during the week of January 10. Remove all decorations from the tree and do not wrap the tree in a bag or netting. If you live within the Williamsport Condo Corp (Fenton Lane, Shortreed Lane, and Potts Lane), take your tree to Strachan Street for pickup. Weather conditions may cause possible delays in pickup. Rural residents can take their trees to the transfer station at 4775 5th Line (place your bare Christmas tree below the bins on the west side of the lot).
The Municipality of Trent Hills will be collecting natural Christmas trees in Campbellford, Dartford, Hastings, Norham, Trent River, and Warkworth on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 4 and 5. Remove all decorations from the tree and put it at the curb before 7 a.m.
Elsewhere in Northumberland County, residents can take their natural Christmas trees to the Bewdley Community Recycling Centre at 7650 County Road 9 in Bewdley, the Brighton Community Recycling Centre at 1112 County Road 26 (north of the 401) in Brighton, or the Seymour Community Recycling Centre at 344 5th Line West in Campbellford.
The Municipality of Highlands East accepts natural Christmas trees at the Bicroft Landfill at 22884 Highway 118, the Highway 28 Landfill at 24607 Highway 28 South, the Mumford Road Landfill Site at 1365 Mumford Road, the Glamorgan Transfer Station 1042 McColl’s Road in Gooderham, and the Monmouth Landfill Site 19178 Highway 118 in Tory Hill. Tipping fees apply.
The Municipality of Dysart et al recommends leaving natural Christmas trees on your own property to decompose. However, yard waste and brush is accepted at the Haliburton Landfill at 222 Industrial Park Road in Haliburton, the Harcourt Landfill at 1123 Packard Road in Harcourt, and the West Guilford Landfill at 11903 Highway 118 in West Guilford. Tipping fees apply.
Residents of the Township of Minden Hills can drop off their natural Christmas trees at the Ingoldsby Transfer Station at 1674 Ingoldsby Road in Carnarvon. Tipping fees apply.
Recycle your natural Christmas tree
Instead of disposing of your natural Christmas tree, you can also recycle it yourself.
The Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario suggest placing your tree in your backyard or garden, where it will provide winter shelter for birds. You can even decorate the tree again, this time with treats for the birds such as orange slices, peanut butter spread on seed cones, or suet balls stuffed with sunflower seeds. Make sure not to leave any tinsel on your tree as birds may try to eat it.
If you have more than one tree, stack them together to provide winter shelter for rabbits and other small animals.
If you’re a crafter, you can strip fir tree foliage from branches and use them for aromatic pillows for the sofa or bedroom, or use the foliage to line dresser drawers to give clothing and blankets a fragrant aroma. If you have woodworking skills, you can also use the trunk from the tree to make different items such as candleholders.
Take your tree to a local goat farm
Goats love to eat natural Christmas trees, including the needles, branches, and bark. The needles contain nutrients and act as a natural dewormer, and break up the monotony of eating only hay during the winter.
If you know of a local goat farmer, contact them to see if they are accepting natural Christmas trees for their goats.
In the Peterborough area, both Crosswind Farm at 1616 Villiers Line in Keene (705-295-6049 and facebook.com/crosswindfarmkeene) and Flying Pig Farm at 220 Beers Road in Bethany (416-988-2781 and facebook.com/pigsflyfarm) are welcoming Christmas trees for their goats.