As the country winds down from the festive period, millions of households and businesses will be looking to take down their Christmas decorations – and in total dispose of eight million Christmas trees.
Real Christmas trees are recyclable and can be shredded into chippings, which are then used in parks or woodland areas. Alternatively you can replant them, meaning you can enjoy your tree for years to come.
If not reused or recycled, trees can end up in landfill which is costly to both the environment and the taxpayer, with the cost of landfilling eight million trees being around £22 million.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow, said:
"Millions of families around the UK celebrated Christmas with a beautiful Fir or Spruce tree in their home, but when the decorations are taken down, it’s important that we dispose of trees sustainably.
"If you have a tree with its roots still attached, then replanting your Christmas tree is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help our efforts to plant more trees. But if replanting is not an option, make sure to check what collection and recycling services are available where you live. Alternatively, if you have a compost bin or heap, then you could break up your tree and add it to the compost.
"If, however, you have an artificial tree, then make sure to look at ways of keeping them for future Christmases so they don’t end up in landfill where they can take centuries to decompose."
Four ways to reuse or dispose of your Christmas tree:
- Replant your potted Christmas tree in a garden to give it a new lease of life. You could also add bird feeders to provide shelter for wildlife
- Drop your tree off at a recycling centre where it can be turned into chippings for paths or turned into soil
- Check with your local council to see if there’s a special collection service
- Look for an organisation or charity that offers a ‘treecyling’ service where it could be used to build effective flood barriers in communities around the UK