How to recycle that Christmas tree and assorted holiday consumables

Image by Flickr user katielehart

Christmas has come, and if you bought a chopped-down tree you're likely itching to ditch it.

Charleston County residents can recycle their trees by leaving them curb-side for yard waste pick-up and they will be composted, and you can also recycle all manner of Christmas waste — gift wrap, we're looking at you.

Here's helpful info from the county:

Christmas trees and greenery can be recycled (please remember to remove all décor such as lights, tinsel, ornaments, etc.). Some municipalities will pick them up curbside, or they can be taken to a convenience center. The trees picked up curbside are transported to the Bees Ferry Landing Compost Facility to be ground and composted. Residents who drop off a tree at the Bees Ferry Landfill from January 2-9 will receive a free bag of compost.  

All paper, including gift wrap and cardboard, and commingled products (plastics #1-7, glass containers and aluminum and steel cans) can also be recycled through the curbside program and at the numerous drop-site locations and convenience centers located throughout the county. The convenience centers also accept used motor oil and cooking oil, electronicshousehold hazardous materials, batteries, paint, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and holiday light strands.

Some helpful tips aimed at encouraging environmental awareness this holiday season:


  • If you buy a live tree, recycle it!

  • Buy LED lights to reduce energy consumption and extend the lifespan of holiday lights

  • Decorate your tree with household items such as strings of popcorn and berries instead of tinsel.

Gift Giving

  • Recycle all paper including gift wrap, tissue paper, gift bags, boxes and cardboard. If it tears, recycle it!

  • Buy holiday cards printed on recycled paper. Wrap gifts in newspaper comics or wrapping paper made with recycled content.

  • Avoid purchasing over-packaged items. Drop off packaging material such as Styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap at your local shipping store; they will gladly reuse it.

  • Remember to recycle outdated electronics if a new, replacement gadget is received.



  • Compost food waste with yard clippings in a backyard home composting program.

  • Purchase only as much food as needed and be sure to store and prepare properly to avoid food waste generation. Not only will this reduce waste, but it will make your food dollars go further.

Charleston County Environmental Management Holiday Schedule

  • Curbside recycling pickup will be running on a holiday schedule. If your recycle day falls on Tuesday, Dec. 25, you will receive recycling service on the next day, Wednesday, Dec. 26. For the remainder of the week, your pick up day will occur on the day directly following your regularly scheduled pick-up day. If your recycle day is on Tuesday, Jan. 1, you will receive recycling service on the next day, Wednesday, Jan. 2 and the remainder of the week will receive service on the day following your regularly scheduled pick-up day.

  • Environmental Management’s administrative offices will close at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24 and will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25, and Wednesday, Dec. 26 in observance of the Christmas holiday and will re-open on Thursday, Dec. 27. Additionally, administrative offices will be closed on Tuesday, January 1st in observance of New Year’s Day.

  • The Bees Ferry Landfill will close at 12 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24 and remain closed for Christmas Day, Tuesday Dec. 25. The Bees Ferry Landfill will resume normal hours on Wednesday, Dec. 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Bees Ferry Landfill will also be closed on Tuesday, January 1 in observance of New Year’s Day. 

  • All staffed convenience centers will close at 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec., 24, except for the Bees Ferry Convenience Center, which will close at 12 p.m. All sites will be closed on Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and New Year’s Day (Jan. 1).

 For more information on recycling, contact the Charleston County Environmental Management Department at (843) 720-7111 or visit

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