Christmas tree recycling begins in Knox County

Local News

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The holidays are over, and people are settling into the new year which means it is time to start thinking about what to do with your live Christmas trees. Knoxville and Knox County have several options for recycling your tree. Christmas has come and gone, and the evergreens are starting to look a little more brown. There are growing piles of them at Knox County recycling centers.

“We can take the Christmas trees, the live organic trees at six out of the seven county convenience centers with the exception of Carter just due to space,” said Zachary Johnson, Knox County Recycling Coordinator.

The trees will soon become mulch, thousands of pounds of it.

“We collected 2,078 trees last year and that was roughly 60,000 pounds that was kept out of local landfills,” Johnson said.

If you have fake snow on your tree, that is okay. That can still be recycled. However, if it has a tree stand, ornaments, lights or wires on it, those all need to come off before these can be turned into mulch.

“They smell great when they’re mulched too. It’s good for azaleas,” Johnson said.

Those recycling their trees told us giving it back to nature is the best option in their opinion, but it is not just your trees that can be recycled. Lights, wrapping paper, and cooking oil can also.

“Cardboard and mixed paper, we get a lot of that stuff, and hopefully people will recycle it because it helps generate, helps operate the centers,” Johnson said.

It is an easy way to make many parts of your Christmas environmentally friendly.

“I know people have a lot of Christmas trees and they want to get rid of this organic material. We don’t want it to go to landfill,” said Johnson.

The following locations will accept Christmas trees for recycling:

  • Dutchtown Convenience Center – 10618 Dutchtown Road
  • Halls Convenience Center – 3608 Neal Drive
  • John Sevier Convenience Center – 1950 West John Sevier Highway
  • Karns Convenience Center – 6930 Karns Crossing Lane
  • Powell Convenience Center – 7311 Morton View Lane
  • Tazewell Pike Convenience Center – 7201 Tazewell Pike

Inside the city of Knoxville you can also drop your tree off at Ijams Nature Park. Trees should be dropped off at the Meads Quarry parking lot. For more information about recycling lights and other items, visit

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