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Recycling during the holidays in Raleigh, NC

How to safely and efficiently take care of your holiday cleanup.

An image of Raleigh's Yard Waste bins.

Take your tree to the curb on yard waste day, but don’t put it in the bin.

Graphic via City of Raleigh

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If you celebrate Christmas, you know that sooner or later you have to deal with that “Night of the Living Dead” tree in the corner. That doesn’t mean it’s dumpster-bound. Instead, we have some tips on how you can safely and efficiently take care of your holiday cleanup.

Christmas tree

  • Curbside pick up: The City of Raleigh will recycle your tree for you — just bring it to the curb on your neighborhood’s usual yard waste collection day before Feb. 6. Leave it on the ground, not in your recycling bin. The tree will be turned into mulch for city landscaping.
  • Drop off: Take your tree to one of the designated drop-off locations, now until Jan. 22. Your tree will be used to mulch trails at local parks.
  • Pro tip: To make sure your tree gets properly recycled, remove all decorations, lights, and the tree stand.

Wrapping paper

  • Paper and greeting cards that are free of glitter and foil can be placed in your blue recycling cart.
  • Pro Tip: No bows or tissue paper in the recycling cart.


  • For the city to collect your boxes, you must flatten the box and remove all styrofoam packing and plastic wrap.
  • Pro tip: Extra-long boxes should be broken down into smaller pieces so they fit inside the cart and the lid closes. Crews cannot collect boxes left outside of the recycling cart.

Cooking grease

  • Now through Saturday., Jan. 14, residents can leave used cooking oil curbside in clear plastic containers. You must call 919-996-3245 to schedule a grease collection.
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