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Time to get rid of your Christmas tree? Here's how in N.H.

Christmas tree put out for garbage after the holiday season

With the holiday season now behind us, it’s time for some to turn to another annual, mid-winter ritual: trashing the Christmas tree.

But in many New Hampshire cities and towns, that’s not as simple as tossing it in the dump. Many communities have specific instructions for disposal.

In New Hampshire, residents aren’t allowed to dispose of leaves and yard waste with their normal trash. And that applies to Christmas trees, too, according to Marc Morgan, the solid waste manager for Lebanon.

He says putting trees in a landfill isn’t great for the environment, either.

“They consume precious landfill space, contribute to methane gas generation because of their decomposition – which is a greenhouse gas – so there are better, more environmental options available,” Morgan said.

Generally, municipalities will put the trees through a chipper to make mulch products, or add them to a burn pile with other brush they’re managing, Morgan said.

Some trees have already found new life this season as feed for alpacas, the Keene Sentinel reports.

Many towns and cities in New Hampshire have drop-off or pick-up programs for Christmas trees. Residents must remove all decorations – tree stands, ornaments, lights, and tinsel.

Residents should check with their municipality about collection dates and requirements. Here’s some information about some New Hampshire communities and their tree collection.





  • Christmas trees will be collected with curbside trash and recyclable services in Portsmouth through January 15. 


  • Residents can bring trees to the brush pile at the recycling center, said Jennifer Bretz, a representative from the city of Dover.


  • Hanover residents can drop off their Christmas tree at the town’s public works facility through January 17th or can drop trees off at the Lebanon solid waste facility. 


  • Lebanon residents can drop off their tree at the solid waste facility. Disposal is free if the tree is under 2 cubic yards and the diameter of the tree’s trunk and limbs are smaller than 4 inches.