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Contact: DNR Office of Communications

Make A Plan Now To Dispose Of Your Holiday Tree

Please Keep Trees Out Of Landfills

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging Wisconsinites to make a plan now to properly dispose of their holiday trees after their celebrations wrap up.

Wisconsin law generally prohibits landfill disposal of yard waste, including leaves, grass clippings, brush and pieces of wood (branches, sticks, etc.) under 6 inches in diameter. The yard waste disposal law has been in place since 1993. 

The DNR does not act as “trash police,” but rather works with communities to divert yard waste from landfills through composting and other waste reduction activities.

The DNR recommends chipping or composting yard waste because that organic waste takes up a lot of landfill space, has value for gardening and landscaping and creates harmful greenhouse gases when it breaks down in landfills.

If your municipality or a private service provider offers drop-off or curbside tree collection for residents, remove lights, decorations and wires before placing the tree on the curb or taking it to the drop-off center.

If tree management is not offered in your area, check out the Wisconsin Recycling Markets Directory for a list of licensed composting facilities by selecting “Licensed Composter Facilities" in the drop-down menu.

The DNR will continue to work with municipalities and the Waste and Materials Management Study Group over time to gather information about how holiday trees are being managed and identify options for keeping useful materials out of landfills.