NEW YORK CITY — As the holidays come to a close and the tinsel and garland get packed away, many New Yorkers will need to rid themselves of the dried-up Christmas trees still perched in their living rooms.
There are options for disposing of your tree post-Christmas, whether you want to do it yourself or pay someone to haul it away for you. Here are a few ways to get rid of your tree.
Leave it Curbside
The sidewalks of New York turn into tree graveyards in the weeks after Christmas. This year, the Department of Sanitation will conduct special collections from Jan. 5-16, according to its website. People can leave their trees on the curb to be picked up for recycling.
Trees should be stripped of all decorations and taken out of their stands before being left out for pickup. Don't put your tree in a plastic bag, the Sanitation Department says. Clean, non-bagged trees will be collected and turned into mulch to be used in city's parks and community gardens.
Make it Mulch
Residents who want to send their trees off in person can head to MulchFest, where the remains of the festive feature will be turned into wood chips to nourish plants around the city. The festival, organized by the Parks and Sanitation Departments, will be held at locations in all five boroughs this year from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 10 and 11.
Bring your tree to a designated "chipping location," where you can watch it go through the chipper and even head home with a bag of mulch for your own yard or garden. There are also a number of "drop-off only" sites where trees can be left, to be recycled later by the city. A full list can be found here.
More than 30,000 trees were recycled at MulchFest last year, according to the Parks Department's website. All lights, ornaments and other decorations must be taken off the tree before it is brought in for chipping.
Pay for Pickup
If you don't want to deal with the hassle of hauling your tree away yourself, you can hire a pro to do it for you.
Companies like Tyler's Trees and NYC Trees offer tree removal service. Both organizations deliver and install Christmas trees for customers and they'll also come by to take them off your hands after the holidays.
"Families get so excited when we bring them a fresh Christmas tree. After Christmas, reality sets in about 'now what?'" Tyler Kupper, the co-founder of Tyler's Trees, said in a statement. "We aim to make the removal just as easy as the installation."
Tyler's Trees services all five boroughs. Customers can sign up for tree disposal online, picking a date and time when a team of "removal elves" will show up with a heavy-duty bag to wrap around the tree to minimize falling pine needles as it's taken away, according to co-founder Brian Millman.
Tree removal starts at $50 for a 5-foot tree to up to $200 for trees taller than 13 feet. A majority of the trees the company removes are turned over to the city for MulchFest, Millman said, and Tyler's Trees also partners with the New York Restoration Project to plant new trees around the city.
NYC Trees, a company started by two brothers who deliver regionally-sourced Christmas trees straight to customers' homes, will also be offering removal services this year for returning customers and for new customers in Manhattan and Queens.
The service will be available by appointment on Saturdays and Sundays for the next three weeks, beginning this weekend. It will cost $50 in cash, paid when the tree is picked up. Requests can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.