City to No Longer Collect Holiday Trees Curbside: Additional Drop Sites Offered

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) is modifying its management of discarded cut Christmas trees this holiday season in order to comply with a changed state requirement. Historically, Milwaukee residents have been encouraged to take trees to the Drop Off Centers to be managed along with yard waste but have also had the option to dispose curbside as a bulky item collected by garbage crews. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently revisited its longstanding interpretation that previously deemed Christmas trees as a household decoration. Instead, the DNR has clarified that it now considers holiday trees to be yard waste and thus subject to the State’s yard waste landfill ban. Communities are expected to manage them accordingly. The City of Milwaukee provides the opportunity to drop off yard waste year-round through its Drop Off Centers. Seasonal brush collection does not operate from December through March, so residents will be required to drop off their discarded trees or make other arrangements instead of receiving a curbside collection option from the City. Artificial trees will still be collected curbside at the garbage collection point.

New this holiday season, DPW will provide additional temporary locations for residents to drop off cut Christmas trees to supplement the two Drop Off Centers. The temporary sites will be open from January 11th to 15th, 2024. Please note that staff will not be on-site to assist with unloading trees or placing them in the collection area. All decorations must be removed. Trees collected at the two Drop Off Centers and temporary sites will be composted.

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Sanitation Holiday Reminders

• November 26th – Winter Drop Off Center hours begin (closed Sundays and Mondays).

• December 1st – Winter parking regulations begin.

• December 4th – Winter collection schedule begins.

• December 22nd or 25th – No garbage or recycling collection.

• January 1st – No garbage or recycling collection.

Collection schedules shift after holidays and can be found at or by calling 414-286-CITY (2489).

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