Free Christmas tree recycling

Published: 28 December 2018

The council will be offering a free Christmas tree recycling service from January 4 as part of its regular collection service.

The trees will all be shredded and turned into compost.

The council will be aiming to collect all unwanted trees from people’s front gardens on their scheduled refuse and recycling collection days between Friday, January 4 and Friday, January 18.

Residents with front gardens should place any trees for collection alongside their dustbins and recycling sacks. 

Those without front gardens can place them on the pavement directly in front of their home but only if it does not cause an obstruction. These trees should not be left out for collection any earlier than 6.30pm on the day before the collection is due.

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

People should make sure that all decorations, pots and stands have been removed and are being reminded this service applies only to real trees not artificial ones. 

Over the course of the fortnight the council’s refuse and recycling service can expect to pick up somewhere in the region of 90,000-100,000 unwanted trees. 

Residents are being strongly urged not to abuse this free service by dumping trees on the street or in the road. This is totally unnecessary as they will be collected free of charge from people's front gardens or communal bin areas.

If trees are dumped on the highway blocking pavements or parking spaces, the pick-up crews have to be diverted away from their scheduled collections to deal with this problem. People who dump trees in this way cause only delays and inconvenience for their neighbours.

Environment spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “All you have to do is leave your tree in your front garden alongside your dustbins and we will aim to collect them on the same day we collect your refuse and recycling.

“It won’t be the same lorry that does the pick-up so please don’t worry if your bins are emptied and your recycling sacks taken away before your tree is collected.

“If you don’t have a front garden just leave them as close as you can to your front door and if you live on an estate place them next to your communal bin store.

“Please be patient and don’t dump them in the street on in the road.  All this does is block pavements and parking spaces and makes it harder for parents with prams and buggies and people in wheelchairs to move around safely.

“It also means our pick-up crews have to be diverted away from their normal tasks to clear pavements and street corners and this ends up costing local taxpayers more money.

“Our message is simple. Please take full advantage of our free recycling services and let us collect your Christmas tree when we pick up your binbags and recycling sacks.”

Refuse collection services will operate normally on New Year’s Eve but on all other days between December 25 and up to and including Friday, January 4, collections will be made the following day. The normal timetable will be fully restored on Monday, January 7.

For more information about refuse and recycling services over the Christmas and New Year break, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/christmasopening