Wandsworth’s free Christmas tree recycling service gets underway in January

Published: Thursday, December 22, 2022

  • Free collection service will run from January 3rd to 16th on normal waste collection days
  • People can leave trees in front gardens awaiting collection
  • Public strongly urged to not dump trees on pavements

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Christmas tree abandoned on pavement

The council’s annual Christmas tree recycling service will begin in early January with residents being asked to avoid dumping them on pavements and street corners.


The council’s free collection service will run between January 3rd and 16th. Trees will be collected on weekdays free of charge from the front of people’s homes as part of the borough’s normal refuse and recycling service.


All the collected trees will be shredded and turned into compost – some of which will be used to help keep the borough’s parks and open spaces looking good.


Every year the council collects tens of thousands of Christmas trees – including many that block pavements - causing unnecessary obstructions for people with disabilities, wheelchair users and parents with young children in buggies.


The need to clear pavements from abandoned trees creates delays to the collection timetable and means some will not be collected as quickly as planned.


The town hall’s cabinet member for environment Judi Gasser said: “During the first weeks of January we will collect many tens of thousands of trees and we would appeal to residents to be patient and abide with us while we complete this huge task.


“Unfortunately experience tells us that some people will simply dump their trees on pavements and street corners and this means our pick-up crews have to be diverted away from their normal collection rounds which just leads to delays and inconvenience for everyone.


“It also means more journeys by collection vehicles than is really necessary and this just adds to the cost of the operation as well as extra congestion on the roads and more pollution.


“If people can please just be patient and make sure their tree is not causing an obstruction, we will pick it up and recycle it as quickly as we can.”    


People who live in blocks of flats should leave their trees near to their refuse bin store, making sure they do not block access.


People who want to take advantage of this free service should make sure that all decorations, pots and stands have been removed. This service applies only to real trees not artificial ones. 


Trees should be left out alongside people’s refuse and recycling sacks for pick up on normal refuse and recycling days between Tuesday, January 3 and Monday, January 16.


Residents can also take their unwanted trees to be composted at the waste and recycling centre at Smuggler’s Way. Details and the centre’s opening times can be found at www.wrwa.gov.uk


For more information about refuse and recycling services visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/waste


For details of other council services over the festive period visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/christmas