Reno non-profit organization Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) sponsors the annual Christmas tree recycling effort, which helps keep them out of the landfill and discourages illegal dumping in the area's open spaces. The recycling program typically begins the day after Christmas and continues through the New Year until the middle of January. Other agencies and businesses lending support include the City of Sparks Parks and Recreation, Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space, City of Reno Urban Forestry, Sierra and Truckee Meadows Fire Protection Districts, Tholl Fence, Waste Management Recycle America, the governments of Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County, and NV Energy.
Recycling Christmas Trees in Reno and Sparks
The KTMB Christmas tree recycling program accepts natural trees with all ornaments, lights, and stands removed. Flocked trees are not accepted because they clog the chippers used to turn the trees into mulch.
There are several locations (listed below) in the Truckee Meadows where Christmas trees are accepted during the recycling program period. Drop-off hours are generally between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily. Dates during the holiday season range from December 26 through January 11. Check the website for most updated dates and times. A small donation is requested to support this and other KTMB programs. NV Energy Foundation matches Christmas tree recycling donations. Residents may bring their household trees, but commercial businesses with five or more trees to recycle should call (775) 425-3015.
- Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road (off Lakeside Drive) in Reno
- Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra Street (in Pagoda parking lot) in Reno
- Shadow Mountain Sports Complex, 3300 Sparks Boulevard (Shadow Lane entrance) in Sparks
- Truckee Meadows Fire Station 17 in Spanish Springs, 500 Rockwell Blvd.
- Truckee Meadows Fire Station 223 in Lemmon Valley, 130 Nectar Street
- Truckee Meadows Fire Station 16 in Washoe Valley, 1240 East Lake Blvd.
Uses for Christmas Tree Mulch
Christmas trees are recycled by mulching them with chipper machines. Local parks, landscapers, and residents then use the product in various ways to enhance our surroundings and save money with this virtually free material. Here are some suggested uses:
- Prevent erosion.
- Weed abatement.
- Landscaping walkways and paths.
- Animal bedding.
- Insect deterrent.
- Protect and foster growth of certain plants.*
- Insulate soil.
Residents can get free mulch through the end of January. For more information, call Bartley Ranch Regional Park at (775) 828-6612 or Rancho San Rafael Regional Park at (775) 785-4512.
(*Christmas tree mulch should not be used in or around flower and vegetable gardens because of the acidity of the pine chips.)
Be a KTMB Christmas Tree Recycling Volunteer
The Christmas tree recycling program depends on volunteers to help at the collection locations. You can sign up online and choose the location where you would like to work. For more information or to volunteer by phone, call (775) 851-5185. Christmas tree recycling is 7 days a week from December 26 through January 11. Several shifts are available every day.
Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and volunteers under 18 must volunteer with an adult.
There are other KTMB community beautification and recycling programs, such as Litter Index, Waste Warriors, and Open Space Cleanups, that also depend on volunteers.