Recycle Your Christmas Tree to Spruce Up Wake County Parks

Drop off undecorated trees from Dec. 26 to Jan. 23

Flyer promoting Happy Trails Christmas Tree recycling program

When Santa’s come and gone and it’s time to toss that Tannenbaum, help Wake County spruce up its parks by recycling your Christmas tree into mulch.

Through the Happy Trails Christmas Tree Recycling Program, Wake County residents can turn their Christmas trees into mulch that will fortify and beautify park trails around the county. Just drop off your tree at one of eight locations from Dec. 26, 2021, until Jan. 23, 2022.

“The outpouring of community support for Happy Trails is always amazing, even during the pandemic,” said Chris Snow, director of Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space.

“One by one, Wake County residents dropped off 6,630 trees last year, which turned into 113 tons of mulch for our trails,” he said. “It’s incredible when you think about it – that’s enough trees to cover six acres of the average Christmas tree farm, and that tonnage adds up to weigh more than 17 elephants!”

Drop-off is totally contactless, which reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19. Residents simply drop their trees in designated areas without any interaction with staff. If there’s a line, wait in your car until it’s your turn. If you cannot avoid being outside with others, stand at least six feet apart, wear a mask and wash your hands afterward.

The following solid waste convenience centers are open for tree drop-offs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week:

The following Wake County parks will accept trees from 8 a.m. to sunset, seven days a week:

All decorations must be removed before recycling Christmas trees. All facilities will be closed Saturday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day.

Since 2012, the Happy Trails program has collected more than 46,561 trees and produced about 895 tons of nutrient-rich, aroma-filled mulch to spruce up Wake County’s park trails.

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

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

To learn more, visit

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.

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