How to dispose of your holiday tree in Austin

Photo of holiday trees in Zilker Park
According to a press release, the city's disposal efforts prevent 20,000 trees from landing in area landfills. (Courtesy Austin Resource Recovery)

According to a press release, the city's disposal efforts prevent 20,000 trees from landing in area landfills. (Courtesy Austin Resource Recovery)

The city of Austin is offering a number of services for residents to either compost their holiday trees or recycle them into mulch. According to a Dec. 20 press release from the city, these efforts have helped keep around 20,000 trees out of landfills.

City of Austin curbside customers can leave their trees at the curb for pickup.

“Beginning Dec. 26, Austin Resource Recovery will pick up all-natural trees, along with yard trimmings, on regularly scheduled collection days,” the press release stated.

It added that trees over 6 feet should be cut in half, and all trees should be set at the curb by 6:30 a.m.

Residents, including those who do not have curbside collection, can also drop their trees at Zilker Park on Jan. 2, 8 or 9 between 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


“Whether residents choose to recycle their tree curbside or as part of our Zilker Park tree recycling events in January, they should remove all decorations from their tree (including tinsel) and tree stands. Flocked trees are not accepted,” said Alyssa Armstrong, a public information specialist with Austin Resource Recovery, in an email.

She added that trees should not be placed in plastic bags.

The mulch from the recycled trees will be available for free on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Jan. 12 at 9 a.m., Armstrong said. Trees collected at curbside will be turned into compost at Organics by Gosh.

Alternative locations provided by Travis County or businesses that take natural trees are available on the city of Austin website. According to a Dec. 22 Travis County news release, Travis County residents can drop trees off at no cost from Dec. 26-Jan. 10 from 7 a.m.-5 p.m.

In addition, Texas Disposal Systems listed six tree drop-off sites on its website, including locations in Bee Cave and Georgetown. For those sites, drop-off begins Dec. 27 and is also free of charge.
By Benton Graham

Metro Reporter, Austin

Benton joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter covering transportation in Central Texas in June 2021. Benton's writing has appeared in Vox, The Austin Chronicle, Austonia and Reporting Texas. Originally from Minneapolis, Benton graduated from William & Mary and eventually moved to Austin in 2018.