The race has begun to send your Christmas tree to its next life before the needles on the floor outnumber those clinging to the tree. We’ve collected three great options for Chittenden County residents ready for the annual holiday heave-ho:
1. Feed it to the goats
No, really! Not only do goats love noshing on the needles, eating Christmas trees also provides them with important nutrition. Farmers say the the pine needles have a natural de-worming quality that helps the goats stay healthy.
The environmental benefit is an added bonus. By feeding your Christmas trees to the animals, you’re providing a valuable reuse for your tree and keeping its energy going in a natural, closed-loop cycle.
The Vermont Goat Collaborative at Pine Island Community Farm (1029 Pine Island Road in Colchester) provides a great option for people looking to try this. The farm raises goats to sell to immigrant families at an affordable price. Many families can’t afford local meat and miss the familiar goat meat that they used to have in their diets back home.
Pine Island will begin accepting trees at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 5th in Colchester. Learn more on their Facebook event.
Check out the Vermont Sheep & Goat Association to search for other goat farms nearby—just give them a call to make sure they’ll accept your tree.
2. Leave it curbside
Keep an eye out for curbside pick-up options next week. Just remember: Remove all artificial decorations, take it out of the stand, and don’t put it in a bag!
- Burlington: The Department of Public Works begins picking up trees on Tuesday, January 8th, continuing until all trees have been collected.
- Essex & Essex Junction: Public Works crews begin picking up trees on Wednesday, January 2nd. Trees will be picked up by January 4th, weather permitting. Learn more on the Essex Town website.
- Other: Some local groups collect trees at the curb as fundraisers. If you subscribe to curbside trash and recycling pickup, your hauler may offer Christmas tree pickup for an extra fee. Find their contact number on our hauler page.
3. Drop it off
As usual, you can always bring your Christmas tree to any of our Drop-Off Centers (except for the Pine Street location in Burlington). All trees will be chipped; with some used as energy-generating fuel at Burlington Electric Department’s McNeil Generating Station, and others used in our recipe at Green Mountain Compost. You can also take your tree directly to the McNeil Waste Wood Yard. Hours for each facility vary:
Essex: Tues. 9:30am – 5pm & Wed.- Sat. 8am – 3:30pm
Milton: Mon. 9:30am – 5pm & Fri.-Sat. 8am – 3:30pm
Richmond: Tues. 8am – 3:30pm, Thurs. 9:30am – 5pm, Sat. 8am – 3:30pm
South Burlington: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Sat. 8am – 3:30pm, Fri. 9:30am – 5pm
Williston: Mon. – Sat. 8am – 3:30pm
McNeil Wood & Yard Waste Depot: Tues. – Fri. 8am – noon, Sat. 8am – 4pm. (Contact BED directly with any questions: (802) 864-7446.)
Need to get rid of more than just the tree? Check out our guide to getting rid of almost any holiday-related item, including string lights and batteries.