Recycle your real trees for a greener Christmas

Forest of Dean residents wanting to recycle their real Christmas trees will be able to leave them out for collection between Monday 6 and Friday 17 January 2020 on their normal garden waste collection day.

The Christmas tree collection service – operated by the Forest of Dean District Council and waste contractor Biffa – is available to all households, including those without a current garden waste licence. 

To use the service, residents need to put their tree out at the kerbside by 7.30am on their scheduled garden waste collection day between the two dates.  Garden waste collections take place on the alternate week to the refuse collection for most properties.

Small trees can be reduced and put in the green wheeled bin if available.  Larger trees can be left at the kerbside.  Residents are asked to carefully reduce their trees to sections no longer than 1.5m in length to assist with the collection.  All lights, tree decorations, pots and stands must be removed in order for the tree to be collected.

Councillor Sid Phelps, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the Forest of Dean District Council said: ‘We estimate that somewhere in the region of 7,000 real Christmas trees are bought each year in the Forest of Dean district and we want to make sure as many of those purchased go on to be composted.  Collected trees will be processed in Gloucestershire, either at Dymock or Bishop’s Cleeve near Tewkesbury.  Real trees can be awkward to dispose of particularly once needles start to drop, so we are delighted to be able to offer this service to all households, irrespective of whether they have a current garden waste licence or not.’

Residents who are unsure when their garden waste collection is due can either visit the waste pages of the Council’s website (, check their annual waste calendar or call the customer services team on 01594 810000 during office opening hours.

Real Christmas trees can also be taken to the local Household Recycling Centres at Oak Quarry (Broadwell) and Hempsted (Gloucester) and placed in the dedicated garden waste bank.  Both sites are currently operating winter opening hours which are from 10.00am to 4.00pm daily and will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.  Residents are reminded that Oak Quarry HRC is now closed every Tuesday, with Hempsted HRC closed every Thursday, throughout the year.

Householders are reminded that Christmas trees cannot be disposed of in their black refuse wheeled bins.

  • The Carbon Trust calculates that an artificial tree would need to be used for 10 years to have a lower carbon impact than buying a real tree.  The best option is to purchase a potted living tree which can be used year after year. (
  • It is estimated that over 7 million real Christmas trees are purchased each year in the UK (source British Christmas Tree Growers Association).
  • Horticulture Week report that 18% of all households will have a real Christmas tree.