MILWAUKEE — Department of Public Works crews will not be collecting cut Christmas trees at the curbside following this holiday season after the DNR issued a change to DPW collection policy.
Holiday trees were previously considered household decorations that garbage crews could take to a landfill. The DNR is now classifying cut trees as yard waste that should be composted.
Drop-off centers have always been an option for residents to dispose of cut trees in the past, but this season they will be the only option. The City of Milwaukee’s seasonal brush collection for similar things like leaves and spring trimming does not operate from December through March, so residents must take Christmas trees to drop-off centers themselves.
The two drop-off centers are open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. They are located at 3879 W Lincoln Avenue and 6660 N Industrial Road (must enter Industrial Road from Mill Road).
Staff will not be available on-site to assist with unloading trees or placing them in the collection area. All decorations must be removed.
The DNR has said additional drop-off sites at locations yet to be announced will be available after the holidays from Jan. 11 through 15 to help accommodate the policy change.
Ald. Bob Bauman told TMJ4 News that he estimates between 75,000 and 100,000 Christmas trees will need to be disposed of in the City of Milwaukee this year. He expressed concern that the policy change will result in long lines at drop-off centers and trees being dumped illegally.
The City of Milwaukee is holding a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 11 to discuss the new policy.
Artificial trees will still be collected curbside by garbage crews.