Here’s how to recycle your Christmas trees, non-working holiday lights

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The ritual of displaying a live Christmas tree in your home is one of the most famous traditions of the holiday.

But what happens after all the fun is over? When Dec. 26 rolls around and there’s a dying tree in your living room?

Covington is teaming up with Rumpke Waste & Recycling to offer both pick-up and drop-off options as part of their 10th annual Holiday Tree Recycling Program.

“Rather than take up space in a land-fill, the tree is better off shredded and turned into mulch that can be used to beautify garden spots around the city,” said Stephanie Bacher, the city’s solid waste and recycling coordinator.

Residents have two options:

  • Arrange to have the tree picked up on regular trash collection days by calling Rumpke at least 48 hours in advance at (800) 828-8171. This begins Jan. 4 and lasts until Jan. 18.
  • Drop off trees from Dec. 26 through Jan. 18 at three different locations: South Covington at the parking lot on Tripoli and Hands Pike, adjacent to Neighborhood Park; Urban Forestry Garage at 1700 Montague Road in Devou Park; Parking lot at 14 Pete Rose Pier. Follow Bakewell Street to its foot, go through the cut in the Ohio River floodwall, then look to the west in the gravel area.

In order to prepare their trees for pickup, residents should remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, and other decorations. Trees should not be placed in plastic bags.

The recycled trees will be chipped into mulch, which will then be used by the Urban Forestry Division and offered to residents/neighborhood groups for community gardens and neighborhood beautification efforts. 

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To schedule a mulch pickup, contact Urban Forester Patrick Moore at [email protected] or (859) 292-2300.

Similarly, the city is collecting non-working strands of holiday lights to recycle.

Lights can be dropped off at four locations in Covington until Feb. 1:

  • Lobby at City Hall, at 20 West Pike St. Open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.
  • Covington Fire Department’s Station 5 at 1255 Hands Pike. The bin is located outside and available 24/7.
  • Lobby at The Center for Great Neighborhoods, 321 M.L. King Jr. Blvd./W. 12th St. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday.
  • Lobby at Covington Public Works, 1730 Russell St. Open 7 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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