Recycling in Sioux Falls

Christmas Trees Are NOT Recyclable (Real or Fake)

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Real Christmas trees or greenery should not be placed in the recycling bin. This kind of “organic” waste falls into the same category as yard waste, branches and other plants. If mixed into your recycling bin, it can contaminate the items that actually can be recycled so be sure to leave these out.

Luckily in Sioux Falls, the city provides free drop-off locations for real trees that will eventually be ground up and go to Poet Ethanol for fuel! Check out the two convenient locations here.

You can also donate them to the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History for animal enrichment! Donated trees should be free from all decorations, especially tinsel. They would also prefer trees that have not been flocked or painted. Contact them for more information.


For fake trees or greenery, that’s where a lot of confusion comes in. Many people think, hey, it’s plastic, let’s toss it in the recycling bin… but hang on… Artificial Christmas trees are made of many different types of materials that cannot be separated by our recycling equipment. When thinking of recyclable plastic, remember the single stream categories: Bottles, Tubs and Jugs. Christmas trees do not belong, so they are NOT recyclable in your bin.

Options for old artificial (fake) Christmas trees:

  • If the tree is in good shape, donate it to a local charity or give it away to friends or family.
  • If the tree can’t be reused intact, think of ways you could break it down to reuse the pieces (wreaths, garland, decor, etc- have fun with it! Check out this pinterest list for ideas)
  • If it cannot be donated or you don’t have time to re-purpose it, the last resort is the trash bin.

Thanks for recycling! Check out our recycling search tool to find local options for everything you can’t put in the single stream bin.


01 Jan, 19

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