What to do with those old Christmas trees

Brandon Paykamian • Dec 26, 2019 at 10:00 PM

Now that Christmas is over, many Johnson City residents will be looking to dispose of their old decorations and Christmas trees.

Every year in the weeks following Christmas, hundreds of old Christmas trees are placed along Johnson City’s street curbs for brush collection by the Solid Waste Services department.

Last year, some residents took their old Christmas trees to a designated drop-off location at Winged Deer Park, but this year, Johnson City Public Information Specialist Ann Marie French said residents are advised only to leave them on the curb with other brush.

City officials have estimated that up to 2,000 trees are disposed of annually in Johnson City. In previous years, Public Works Director Phil Pindzola said the city usually gets about $17 a ton for the wood chips sold to companies like Kingsport’s Domtar Corporation.

The money gained from this has been used to pay for Solid Waste operations.

The city has asked residents getting rid of trees and other Christmas junk to dispose of them properly. Removing decorations and ornaments from old Christmas trees is helpful for brush collection. For other Christmas garbage, the city asks residents to recycle gift boxes, cardboard packaging and paper. Foil paper is not recyclable.

Trash was not collected on Christmas Day, but for those who usually have their trash picked up on Wednesdays, collection will occur on Saturday. Trash will be collected as scheduled on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

For a complete schedule of brush collection locations and times, visit www.johnsoncitytn.org or call 423-975‐2700 for more information.

Here are some city guidelines for disposing of old Christmas trees and brush: 

• Brush piles must not exceed 10‐foot lengths, must be piled straight and placed behind or on the curb for collection.

• Do not place the brush on center medians or islands.

• Do not place brush next to objects such as fences, guy wires and poles or under trees. Equipment is restricted in those areas.

• Brush may not be mixed with other debris. If mixed with leaves, grass, dirt, rocks, lumber, etcetera, the brush will not be collected until properly separated.