What goes where – How to drop off your Christmas tree and sort your waste and recycling this holiday

Households looking to dispose of their Christmas tree are asked to drop them off at a City of London EnviroDepot this winter. There is no special curbside collection of Christmas trees and winter greenery this January, either as a separate pickup or with regular garbage pickup.

The City operates a number of EnviroDepot locations across London. To assist with Christmas tree drop off and other items generated over the holiday season, three additional drop-off days are available (in addition to Wednesdays and Saturdays at EnviroDepots):

  • Thursday, December 29 | 12 noon to 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 3 | 12 noon to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 8 | 12 noon to 5:00 p.m.

Visit the EnviroDepot webpage for locations and regular winter hours of operation. Fees apply to some items (e.g. bagged garbage is $1.50 per bag). Before visiting, please remove all decorations, tinsel, garland, skirts and lights from your tree. 

Residents can also place their Christmas tree in their backyard if they have space and it will become a habitat for birds. In the spring, trees that are three metres or shorter can be placed at the curb for regular yard waste collection. Please check the online Zone Finder or Recycle Coach app for your spring collection schedule.

There are many other ways London households can help waste and recycling operators over the holidays, and understanding what items go where can help London recycle more effectively.

Put gift wrap and bags in the trash can

Paper items coated with plastic or foil contain coloured dyes and are not recyclable. When mixed with newsprint and other paper, they cause big problems for the paper mills.

Avoid putting containers on snow banks

Help keep collection crews safe and place blue bins and containers on level ground within one metre of the curb.

Flatten your boxes

With the extra volume of recycling during the holidays, recycling trucks need all the space they can get. Break down, flatten and tie your cardboard into bundles no larger than 75cm x 75cm x 30cm or stack them flattened in your blue bin.

Avoid “wishcycling”

Just because you “wish” you could recycle something, doesn’t mean you can. Here are some items that should stay out of the blue bin.

  • Clementine boxes
  • Ribbons, bows, and decorations
  • Plastic toys
  • Styrofoam™ and bubble wrap
  • Paper napkins, towels, and soiled paper plates. (For an experienced home composter, paper napkins and towels can be added to a home composter unit)

Put fats, oils, and grease (FOG) in the right place

Have leftover gravy from your holiday meal? Don't pour it down the sink or toilet. Fats, oils and grease like gravy or cooking oil can block sewer pipes and cause major issues.

Use a City of London FOG Cup instead. Keep FOG in the cup, and when the cup is full, it can be returned to an EnviroDepot where it will be used to generate green energy. One full FOG Cup can be turned into enough energy to power a refrigerator for a day. Free FOG Cups can be picked up at the City’s EnviroDepots.

If you do not have a FOG cup, you can also collect fats, oils, and grease in a coffee mug and you can place in the freezer. When it is full, please scrape out the contents in your garbage.

Download the Recycle Coach app to help answer what goes where in our recycling program

Recycle Coach also includes personalized collection calendars, information on London’s recycling program, and collection reminders all accessible from your phone or device.  

Last modified:Wednesday, December 28, 2022