Getting a real tree seemed like such a great idea at the time, didn’t it? Fake ones don’t have that great Christmassy smell and don’t give you that authentic sprinkling of pine needles that you have to hoover up three times a day. But now Christmas has been and gone you’re left with a wilting reminder of the excessive amount of food you consumed and the yearly dilemma of how on earth to dispose of it. Here’s how to get rid.
Thankfully most London councils have a system to recycle your trees and put them to good use rather than create waste. Here’s a breakdown of how each council in zones 1 and 2 will help you to dispose of your tree. All other councils should have a section on their website with directions for how to best recycle your tree.
No Christmas tree collections from your doorstep. Christmas tree recycling sites will be open from January 2 to January 15. Leave your tree at one of the following sites as long as the trunk is less than 15cm in diameter and no more than two metres in length. If it’s bigger, cut it up and bundle it together.
Camden Garden Centre, NW1 0JW
Purchese Street Open Space, NW1 1EL
Cumberland Market Gardens, NW1 3RH
Goldington Crescent Gardens, NW1 1UA
Camden Gardens, NW1 9PQ
Harrington Square Gardens, NW1 2JJ
Chalcot Square Gardens, NW1 8YA
East Heath Road Car Park, NW3 1BN
Jack Straw’s Castle Car Park, NW3 7ES
Eton Avenue (junction with Lancaster Grove), NW3 3EL
Netherhall Gardens, NW3 5RN
Boma Garden Centre, NW5 2DJ
Regis Road Recycling and Reuse Centre, NW5 3EW
Talacre Road Open Space, NW5 3PH
Highgate Enclosures (public access), Highgate Road, NW5
Fortune Green Road Open Space, NW6 1DS
Kilburn Grange Park, NW6 4LB
Russell Square, WC1B 4JP
Brunswick Square Gardens, WC1N 1AR
Calthorpe Project, WC1X 8LH
Greenwich Council will collect your tree free of charge as part of the weekly recycling collection. Just make sure you have removed all of the decorations and then leave it in clear view at the front of your property before 6am. If you live in a flat then leave it by the bin store.
Hackney council will collect your tree on your normal rubbish and recycling collection day during the first two weeks of January. All you need to do is leave it outside your property and it will be collected within 48 hours. Make sure it’s clearly visible and stripped bare of all its fancy decorations.
If you live in a block of flats or an estate with communal bins then leave it by (not inside) the bins instead.
Otherwise you can drop your tree off at Millfields Depot, Millfields Road, E5 0AR before January 31. It’s open 8am–3pm, Monday–Friday, 8am–midday on Saturdays.
Hammersmith and Fulham
Hammersmith and Fulham council will collect your Christmas trees if you usually leave your rubbish and recycling outside your house. They will be collected Jan 5–15 on the afternoon of your normal collection day so ensure you tree is ready by midday. Make sure it’s clearly visible and stripped of decorations.
Otherwise you can take your tree to one of these collection points:
Fulham Palace Road Cemetery (opposite Queensmill Road)
Loris Road Community Gardens
New Kings Road (on edge of Eel Brook Common)
Normand Park (opposite Lillie Road entrance)
Ravenscourt Park (by football pitch)
Wormwood Scrubs car park (off Scrubs Lane)
Islington council will collect your tree until January 13 if you live on an estate. Just leave your tree outside your property with your other recycling on the normal collection day. Make sure it’s clearly visible and stripped bare of decorations.
Otherwise drop it of at one of these collection points January 5-13:
Kensington and Chelsea
Kensington and Chelsea council will collect your tree Jan 4–18. Collection will be different to normal collection dates and will be completed by a different team of workers unless you’re already registered for garden waste collections, in which case the date will remain the same. You can check the collection calendar here.
Put your tree out for collection by your garden waste bag. Make sure it’s clearly visible and stripped of decorations.
Lambeth council will collect your tree on the normal collection day on the week of January 5. Make sure it’s clearly visible and stripped of decorations.
Otherwise take it to one of the following collection sites January 6-31:
Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, SW4
Streatham Common, rear of Upper Common car park, SW16
Archbishops Park, Carlisle Lane, SE1
Lambeth Reuse and Recycling Centre
Vale Street, SE27 9PA (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
Take your tree to one of the following collection sites from December 29 to January 25:
Talbot Place – Blackheath- SE3
Hilly Fields Park – use Hilly Fields Crescent entrance SE4
Forster Memorial Park – use entrance at the top of Whitefoot Lane SE6
Deptford Park – use entrance in Scawen Road SE8
Northbrook Park – use entrance in Baring Road SE12
Chinbrook Meadows – use entrance in Amblecote Road SE12
Manor House Gardens – use entrance in Old Road SE13
Mountsfield Park – use entrance at the top of George Lane SE13
Telegraph Hill Park – use entrance on Pepys & Kitto Road SE14
Mayow Park – use entrance in Mayow Road SE23
Blythe Hill Fields – use Codrington Hill entrance SE23
Sydenham Wells Park – use entrance in Wells Park Road SE26
Beckenham Place Park – use entrance in Old Bromley Road BR1
Southwark council provide a one-off collection for real Christmas trees. If you’d like to organise one then call the customer service centre on 020 7525 2000 or email email@example.com
Otherwise you can take your tree to one of the following collection sites:
Reuse and recycling centre, at Devon Street (off Old Kent Road)
Peckham Rye Park
To recycle your Christmas tree in Tower Hamlets, those of you living in houses can leave your trees outside your property on either the garden waste or food waste recycling day. If you live in a block of flats then contact your housing manager to find out about different arrangements. Collections will take place January 2-20.
They will only recycle real Christmas trees and you need to make sure it’s stripped bare of decorations.
Wandsworth council offer a free Christmas tree collection service January 5-16. Christmas trees will be collected on the usual rubbish collection day but at a different time.
Those of you with ordinary dustbins can leave your tree in your front garden or by the entrance to your house, but don’t leave it any earlier than 6.30pm on the day before the collection. Those of you with communal bins and recycling banks can leave your tree near the bin store. Make sure it’s clearly visible and stripped bare of decorations.
Take your Christmas tree to one of Westminster’s following 23 recycling points January 2-15. The opening hours are 8am–8pm, apart from those in parks which will close at 4.30pm. Make sure it’s clearly visible and stripped bare of decorations.
NW6 Carlton Vale Next to the recycling site by the entrance to Paddington Recreation Ground
NW8 Queen’s Terrace Off Queens Grove
NW8 Prince Albert Road On the junction with Culworth Street
NW8 Swain Street Near the junction with Tresham Crescent on the Lisson Green Estate
NW8 Lisson Grove
Junction with Rossmore Road next to the recycling bins
NW8 Penfold Street On the junction with Broadley Street next to the recycling bins
SW1 Eaton Square Junction with Eccleston Street – one-way going north towards Belgrave Square on the right hand side
SW1 Erasmus Street Junction with Cureton Street by the micro-recycling centre
SW1 Churchill Gardens Estate Next to Darwin House beside the glass tower
SW1 Charlwood Street On the junction with Denbigh Street next to the recycling bins
SW7 Rutland Gate At the top of the garden nearest the Junction with Rutland Gate Mews
W1 Paddington Street Paddington Street Gardens – North side of the gardens, to the left of the entrance
W1 Cavendish Square On the pavement near the recycling site
W1 Soho Square East entrance to the square next to the recycling bins
W10 Ilbert Street Junction with Fourth Avenue by the entrance to the park
W2 Rowington Close Off Senior Street next to Church on the Warwick Estate
W2 Great Western Road Opposite the junction with Tavistock Road by the micro-recycling centre
W2 St. Stephen’s Gardens Junction with Westbourne Park Road
W2 Hallfield Estate On the corner of Winchester House and Tenby House
W9 Ashmore Road Near the junction with Kilburn Lane – grassy area inside St Lukes Church via side gate
W9 Harrow Road Opposite Maryland Road next to the micro-recycling centre
W9 Warwick Avenue On the pavement in the middle of the road, opposite the taxi rank by the recycling site
W9 Grantully Road On the junction with Ashworth Road next to the paper/card recycling bin
Take a look at some of the great things happening in London this January.