‘Tis the Season for Giving, Receiving, Gift Exchanges … and Christmas Tree Recycling from Dec. 26 through Jan. 23


The holidays are a time for family, food and fun and the volunteers at UCCA hope you are enjoying a happy and healthy holiday season this year. The holiday season often means there is plenty to recycle — from gift boxes and wrapping paper to lights and live Christmas trees. Did you know that Americans generate 25 percent more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than during the rest of the year?  Both the City of San Diego and the County offer offer some simple tips on how to reduce your waste.

From the City of San Diego:

The annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program begins the day after Christmas, Dec. 26, through Jan. 23, and features 16 drop-off locations available to City residents. The program turns recycled Christmas trees into useful products. Trees are given a second life by converting them into high-quality compost, wood chips and mulch products for residents and business owners to purchase year-round. City residents may load up to two cubic yards of compost and mulch for free at the Miramar Greenery.

Christmas Tree Drop-off Locations

  • Carmel Valley – Carmel Valley Recreation Center, 3777 Townsgate Drive (lower parking lot)
  • Encanto – Cielo Drive at Woodman Street
  • Golden Hill – Golden Hill Recreation Center, 2600 Golf Course Drive
  • Logan Heights – Memorial Recreation Center, 2902 Marcy Ave.
  • Mission Bay – SeaWorld Drive at Pacific Highway
  • Mountain View – Ocean View Boulevard at 40th Street (north side)
  • Oak Park – Chollas Lake, 6350 College Grove Drive (Gloria Mesa parking lot)
  • Ocean Beach – Robb Field Recreation Center, 2525 Bacon St.
  • Otay Mesa/Nestor – Montgomery Waller Community Park (lower parking lot, southeast corner of Palm Avenue and Beyer Boulevard)
  • Pacific Beach – Kate Sessions Memorial Park, corner of Mount Soledad Road and Loring Street
  • Rancho Bernardo – Rancho Bernardo Recreation Center, 18448 West Bernardo Drive
  • Rancho Penasquitos – Canyonside Recreation Center, 12350 Black Mountain Road
  • San Diego State University – Parking lot 17 off Alvarado Road
  • Scripps Ranch – Scripps Ranch Recreation Center, 11454 Blue Cypress Drive
  • Tierrasanta – Tierrasanta Community Park, 11220 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. (pool parking lot)
  • University City – Standley Community Park (parking lot), 3585 Governor Drive

What kinds of trees are accepted for recycling?

Both green and flocked trees (fake snow) are accepted. All tree stands, bags, netting, lights, ornaments, tinsel and other tree decorations must be removed. No artificial trees accepted. Please do not illegally dump any other items at the drop-off locations.

Where else can I recycle a Christmas tree?

What about recycling Christmas boxes and packaging, wrapping paper and lights, holiday cards and mailers? 

From the County of San Diego Public Works Department:

  • Know What Packaging Can be Recycled: Between online shopping and gift exchanges, there’s usually a lot of stuff to recycle. Remember, not all packaging can be recycled. For example, cardboard boxes can be recycled (just break them down and put them into your recycling bin). But other items can’t — manila envelopes, padded plastic mailers and bubble-wrap, and traditional gift-wrapping materials including ribbons, bows, twine, tissue paper and cellophane. So please DO NOT put them in your blue recycling bins; consider re-using them instead. Here’s a link to learn more about how to Recycle Right, during the holidays and every day.
  • Christmas and Holiday Card Recycling: Like packaging materials, not all holiday cards should be added to your recycling. Simple paper cards and envelopes can be added to your blue bins. But cards with glitter, foil, metallic inks (made with tiny metal flakes) or other adornments can’t. Tear the cards in two if there’s a glitzy front and plain paper backing. Recycle the backs and put the glitzy fronts into the trash.

University City You Know

➡️Please note: Information and advertising items included for publication in our print newsletter or on our websites or shared at our community meetings do not constitute an endorsement by the University City Community Association (UCCA) organization or its board members.⬅️

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