Final week to give new life to Christmas trees in Wake County parks

Undecorated, live trees accepted through Jan. 28

The season of giving is not over! There’s still time to donate live Christmas trees to the Happy Trails Christmas Tree Recycling Program, allowing these valuable decorations to be recycled into mulch that will fortify and beautify park trails around Wake County.

“The Happy Trails program helps enhance the environment and, in turn, the quality of life for people in our community,” said Wake County Commissioner Don Mial. “By donating to the program, the money families spend on Christmas trees keeps working to their benefit, even when the holidays are over.”

The nutrient-rich, aromatic mulch created from the donated trees provides a lovely scent along the trails, prevents erosion, reduces the growth of harmful vegetation, and improves water retention of the soil, among other benefits. All these factors contribute to a better experience for visitors to Wake County parks.

There is no charge to recycle a tree, we just ask that all decorations be removed prior to arrival. Wake County residents are encouraged to bring their trees to one of the eight convenient drop-off locations listed below by Sunday, Jan. 28, before 7 p.m. for convenience centers and before sunset for parks.

The following Wake County solid waste convenience centers are open for tree drop-offs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily:

The following Wake County parks will accept trees from 8 a.m. to sunset daily:

Since 2012, the Happy Trails program has collected more than 51,389 trees and produced about 978 tons of nutrient-rich, aroma-filled mulch to spruce up Wake County Park trails. So far, more than 3,300 trees have been donated this year, which will provide up to 68 tons of mulch.

The program is a partnership between Wake County’s Solid Waste Management Division and the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department.

For more information, contact Solid Waste Facilities Manager Grant Jones at or 919-856-6436, or Blue Jay Point County Park Manager Ben Wittenberg at or 919-870-4329.

About Wake County Solid Waste Management
The Wake County Solid Waste Management Division provides waste disposal and recycling services to residents and businesses in Wake County. The division manages 17 waste facilities including a landfill, waste transfer station, residential waste and recycling convenience centers, household hazardous waste and multi-material recycling drop-off facilities.

To learn more, visit

About Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space
Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division preserves open space, promotes stewardship and provides equitable and inclusive education and outdoor recreation for a diverse and growing community. In 2021, more than 1.6 million people visited Wake County’s 11 parks and nature preserves.

To learn more about Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space, follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WakeGovParks. You can also check out each of our parks on Facebook.

Press Release