Now that the New Year has arrived, it's time to get down those Christmas decorations. What do you do with the items you won't re-use next year?

Even the most die-hard Christmas lovers don't leave their tree up much past the first week of January. If you have a real Christmas tree, it's important to remove the tree to reduce the risk of fire as well.

We checked with the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority to find out how to dispose of all your unwanted holiday decorations and waste.

Disposing of Real Christmas Trees In the Utica Area

  • Contact your local municipality to see what the collection schedule is for Christmas trees.
  • If your municipality does not have a collection schedule, you can deliver your tree to the Oneida County Solid Waste Authority for composting to the Authority’s Utica EcoDrop. *Make sure all decorations and tinsel are removed. In Utica and Rome, hours are Monday thru Friday, 8am - 4pm. On Saturday, Utica is open 7am - 2pm and Rome is open from 8am - 12pm.

Broken or Unwanted Christmas Lights

  •  Broken or unwanted holiday lights cannot be placed in your recycling bin.
  • The CNY Veterans Outreach Center is accepting donations of old holiday lights this holiday season. The lights will be recycled and proceeds will go towards services for Veterans and their families. The CNY Veterans Outreach Center is located at 726 Washington Street in Utica and is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM for drop offs. To schedule a large pickup of lights, call 315-765-0975.
  • You may also deliver holiday lights to the Authority’s Utica or Rome EcoDrops for proper recycling at no charge, or dispose of them with your regular trash.

Can I Recycle Christmas Wreaths?

  • Christmas wreaths should be disposed of with your regular garbage.
  • Real and artificial wreaths are held together with wire and plastic, so they cannot be composted.

How Do I Recycle Greeting Cards and Gift Boxes?

  • Place greeting cards, catalogs, gift boxes and other recyclable paper in with your regular recyclables.

If you have any other items you're hoping to recycle, check with OHSWA at (315) 733-1224 or visit





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