116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
When it’s time to undeck the halls and untrim the tree, you don’t need to cram the leftovers into your garbage can. Now that the Christmas holiday is over and people are taking down the tree, here are some rules for disposal from around the Corridor:
Live trees — stripped of all decorations, stands and wires — can go even greener from now until spring. Drop them off between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. at the Sac & Fox trail parking lot, Bertram Road and Wilder Drive SE, or the Prairie Park Fishery, 2125 Otis Rd. SE.
Christmas trees left at the Sac & Fox lot will be chipped and spread on the hiking trails around the Indian Creek Nature Center. Trees left at Prairie Park will be dragged onto the ice, and as it melts, the trees will sink into the water to create fish habitat. It’s an environmental win at either site.
Or your live trees can be placed curbside for pickup on your regular garbage collection days. Cut the trees in even halves and place them at least 3 feet away from your carts, and on curb level, not on top of a snow bank. Or place them in your YARDY cart, but make sure the lid closes. Do not put them in garbage bags.
Flocked trees, wreaths and garlands cannot be recycled, so they have go in the garbage. Cut trees into 3-foot sections and attach a $1.50 garbage sticker to each section.
Artificial trees also go in the trash, but any cardboard boxes need to be recycled in your CURBY cart. If you can separate the tree into 3-foot sections, attach a $1.50 garbage sticker to each section. If you can’t break it down, call the Solid Waste & Recycling Office at (319) 286-5897 to arrange for bulky item collection, and the cost will be added to your next municipal utility bill.
What about strands of holiday lights that have lost their twinkle and shine? They can be recycled free of charge inside the Resource Recovery building at the Solid Waste Agency’s Marion facility, 1954 County Home Rd. Lights cannot be recycled curbside. Wrapping paper can’t be recycled, either, so toss it in the garbage.
If Santa brought you some sweet new electronics, go to solidwasteagency.org/about-us/news-updates/holiday-recycling-tips for recycling and disposing tips on everything from TVs to batteries.
Real trees will be collected curbside from Monday to Jan. 14. Be sure to remove all decorations and stands, and place trees at the curb on your usual garbage day. Flocked trees and trees in bags will not be picked up.
Natural Christmas trees, wreaths and swags that have not been sprayed with fake snow (flocking) will be collected curbside throughout January. Remove all decorations and stands, and do not place them in bags. If the tree is taller than 6 feet, cut it into sections. The tree will be chipped and spread on city trails.
Don’t trash the strands of dead lights. Drop them by Jan. 9 into the big blue barrels at Hy-Vee Food Stores in Iowa City and Coralville; ReStore, 2401 Scott Blvd. SE; Stuff Etc., 851 Highway 6 E; or any of the city’s Recycling Centers. Details: icgov.org/recycling#Holiday%20Lights%20Recycling
Natural, unflocked trees can be placed curbside by 7 a.m. on your regular garbage collection day. Details: click on the holidays link at icgov.org/foodwaste
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