Say goodbye to your Christmas trees with Mulchfest, an annual tradition hosted by the city’s parks and sanitation departments. Until Jan. 8, locals can drop off live trees — stripped of all lights and decorations — at any of two-dozen locations across Brooklyn.

Real Christmas trees are greenest when they’re properly disposed of. When they are sent to landfills, trees end up sending more greenhouses gases into the air, contributing to climate change. And in order to combat this, the city has been running Mulchfest for over 20 years, allowing old trees to break down into a correctly maintained compost pile.

The program has been a great way to turn old trees into nutrient-rich compost to nourish gardens throughout the city. Just last year, more than 50,600 live trees were recycled. 

From now until Jan. 7, any dropped-off trees will be composted later on. But Jan. 7-8 is Chipping Weekend, where sanitation workers will wood chip your tree right in front of you and send you home with a bag of fresh mulch. Live, organic wreaths and garlands can also be chipped — just be sure to remove all trimmings first. 

And if hauling your tree to a local park for Mulchfest isn’t possible, the DSNY is also collecting and composting trees and wreaths curbside through Jan. 14. Just strip your tree down and drag it to the sidewalk like you would with your regular trash. Trees and wreaths are collected separately from trash and recycling, so it may be a few days before it’s picked up. 

For more information, visit the NYC Parks Department website

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