Sid Phelps - Recycling

Keeping it real – Christmas trees can be recycled from the kerbside

Forest of Dean residents wanting to recycle their real Christmas trees will be able to leave them out on their normal green waste collection day between Thursday 7 January to Wednesday 20 January 2021. 

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 take part, residents simply need to put their tree out at the kerbside by 7.30am on their scheduled garden waste collection day between the two dates.  Collected trees will then go on to be composted at facilities in Gloucestershire and turned into a soil improver.

Councillor Sid Phelps, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the Forest of Dean District Council said: ‘Real Christmas trees are a popular choice and a green option when compared with the artificial alternative, which would need to be used for 10 years or more to have a lower carbon impact than a real one.  Trees purchased from local farms have even greater eco credentials by having far fewer associated transport miles and by shopping close to home, residents can help boost their local economy too.  Once the festivities are over those trees not suitable for re-potting outside can be composted either at home or via the council’s kerbside service.’

‘We are delighted to be able to offer members of the public the chance to recycle their Christmas trees from the kerbside yet again, irrespective of whether they have a current garden waste licence.  While trees can still be taken to the local Household Recycling Centres we know this may be a bit harder for some whilst the appointment booking system remains in place, so we hope this offer, along with the fact that real trees can be awkward to transport, will be a welcome bonus for residents this year.’

Larger trees need to be carefully cut into in sections, no longer than 1.5m in length, before being presented at the kerbside to assist the crews while smaller trees can be put inside the green wheeled bin if available.  All lights, tree decorations, pots and stands must also be removed in order for trees to be collected.

Garden waste collections take place on the alternate week to the refuse collection for most properties.  Anyone who is unsure when their 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 hours. 

Real Christmas trees can still 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 (10.00am to 4.00pm daily) and will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.  Visitors to the Household Recycling Centres must book in advance by visiting

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

Notes to editors

Notes to Editor

  • 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. (

Contact: Marsha Llewellyn, Recycling and Waste Officer (Promotions), Joint Waste Team, Forest of Dean District Council, Council Offices, High St, Coleford GL16 8HG.  Tel: 01594 812428.  Email: