Christmas Tree Recycling Program

The Christmas Tree Recycling Program is run by the Albemarle County Parks and Recreation Department with some assistance from the City of Charlottesville and the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority. Dates on this page will be updated as program schedules become available each year (typically by mid-December).

The Program

This is a program that recycles discarded Christmas trees that are chipped into mulch and offered to the public for free. The County Parks’ program has been in operation since 1988 and has collected an average of 2,300 trees annually that yield over 110 cubic yards of chips. Combining forces with the City of Charlottesville’s curbside pick-up, the joint programs collected 45,500 trees yielding 264 cubic yards of chips in 2021 . This reduces the impact on our landfill and helps citizens find a place to dispose of a large and cumbersome item.

Shortly after the curbside pick-up dates, the City and County Parks’ crews join forces and chip the trees into mulch at Darden Towe Park. Free mulch from the recycled trees will then be available to the public.

Preparing Your Christmas Tree

All decorations, stands, and nails are required to be removed. Only Christmas trees are accepted - do not combine with other “yard waste” or Christmas wreaths.

Program Collection & Pick-Up Details

City of Charlottesville

The City of Charlottesville Curbside Pick-Up for Christmas trees will be the week of January 9, 2023 (trees need to be at the curbside by 7:00 AM, Monday morning). Collection will follow your weekly trash route schedule.

County of Albemarle

The County of Albemarle will operate seven drop-off collection sites (see the list below).  

Drop-Off Collection Sites:

Open daily from December 26, 2022 to January 20, 2023,  7:00 AM until one hour after sunset.

  1. Rivanna Solid Waste Authority’s McIntire Recycling Center on McIntire Road in Charlottesville
    The recycling location on McIntire Rd may be congested. Please consider Darden Towe Park as an alternate location that is less congested and is suited better for large loads and contract haulers.
  2. Darden Towe Park on Elk Drive
  3. Crozet Park in Crozet
  4. Greenwood Community Center in Greenwood
  5. Chris Greene Lake Park in Earlysville
  6. Scottsville Community Center in Scottsville
  7. Walnut Creek Park, off Old Lynchburg Road

When is the Free Mulch Available?

Starting after collections are complete, citizens can pick up free mulch at Darden Towe Park and Claudius Crozet Park .


Please contact the Charlottesville Public Works Department with any questions relating to City curbside tree pick-up: 434-970-3830

Please contact Albemarle County Parks & Recreation with any questions relating to tree drop-off sites or mulch pick-up:  434-296-5844