By Riverside County Department of Waste Resources

The holiday season always ends with plenty of returns and your Christmas tree is no exception. Return your natural Christmas tree to the ground it grew in by dropping it off at a Riverside County landfill to be recycled into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. 

Through the free Christmas tree drop-off program, natural trees collected at the Badlands and Lamb Canyon landfills will be chipped and combined with food waste from the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning to create compost. This program at Lamb Canyon is an innovative way to ensure that organic waste is diverted away from landfill burial, recycled and turned into a valuable soil amendment.

Natural Christmas trees must be prepared for recycling by removing all decorations, lights, tinsel and tree stands. Flocked trees cannot be recycled through this program and need to be cut up and placed in your regular trash container. 

Other natural Christmas trees that are recycled at free drop-off sites will be taken to local green-waste processors to be recycled into compost or mulch. 

These drop-off locations will accept up to three properly prepared residential Christmas trees for free:

• Lua Wood Recycling, 18938 Mermack Ave., Lake Elsinore (accepting until Jan. 4)

• B.P. John Recycling, 28700 Matthews Rd., Romoland (accepting until Jan. 31)

• Riverside County Badlands Landfill, 31125 Ironwood Ave., Moreno Valley (accepting until Jan. 4)

• Riverside County Lamb Canyon Landfill, 16411 Lamb Canyon Rd., Beaumont (accepting until Jan. 4)

Unfortunately, trees that are not recycled at drop-off locations  will only occupy valuable space in our landfills. Make the last gift you give this year to the Earth … recycle Christmas trees!

For more information on this program, please call the Riverside County Department of Waste Resources at 951-486-3200 or visit the waste guide on our website for additional green holiday suggestions: