Recycle Your Christmas Trees to Make Mulch for Happy Trails in Wake County

​Drop off undecorated trees from Dec. 26 to Jan. 24

When it’s time to un-deck the halls and send your tree on its merry way, give one last gift this holiday season and recycle that Christmas tree into mulch for Wake County park trails.

Through the Happy Trails Christmas Tree Recycling Program, Wake County residents can recycle their Christmas trees into mulch that will fortify and beautify park trails around the county. Just drop off your tree at one of our designated waste and recycling convenience centers or county parks from Dec. 26, 2020, until Jan. 24, 2021.

“Happy Trails turns your old Christmas tree into a gift that keeps on giving for our parks. Our trails start each new year with a fresh coat of mulch thanks to this program, which is a real win-win for residents and our parks,” said Chris Snow, director of Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space. “Last year, we recycled a record 6,645 trees, which created more than 114 tons of mulch for our trails.”

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, practice stand at least six feet apart, wear a mask and wash your hands afterward.

The following 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 Friday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day.

Since 2012, the Happy Trails program has collected more than 39,931 trees and produced about 782 tons of nutrient-rich, aroma-filled mulch to improve 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 Department.

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

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.

To learn more, visit

Press Release