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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Transfer Station will take compostable trees for free in January

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, December 11, 2019) - Take note of the waste collection schedule during the holidays and, before you buy your holiday tree, make a decision about whether it will end up as compost, landfill or be planted in the earth as a living tree.

There will be no refuse, recycling or compost collection on Christmas Day or New Year's Day. Commercial and residential collection will be pushed back a day for those with regular Wednesday, Thursday or Friday collections. 

For example, if Wednesday is your regular collection day, your holiday collection will occur on Thursday. Friday pickups will be collected on Saturday.

Please place your carts curbside by 7a.m. Please be advised that collection may occur later in the day than usual. If your collection is more than one day behind schedule, call 510-981-7270 to report a missed pickup. 

Holiday Tree - Curbside Collection:

Before you buy a tree, consider the City's tree disposal requirements and have a plan for when the season is done: landfill, compost or a living tree.

Zero Waste

To have a tree and be zero waste, consider a living tree. Plant it when you're done. Some services offer annual leases on living trees for the holidays. 


  • Avoid trees that have been "flocked" - covered with chemicals to appear like snow. Flocked trees cannot be composted.
  • Remove all lights, decorations, tinsel, plastic bags and plastic tree stands.
  • Cut them to fit inside your green compost cart with the lid closed (i.e. less than 3' in length)
  • Don't leave trees on the curb. They won't get picked up. (They potentially damage City side-loader trucks.)
  • You may drop off trees at the Transfer Station:

1201 2nd Street (off Gilman Avenue)
Monday - Saturday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Closed Christmas and New Year's days.
Compostable trees: free drop-off for compostable trees in January; $23 starting Feb. 1.
Flocked or plastic trees: $29 fee.

If you decide on a large tree and you don't have tools handy to cut your tree to fit into your cart, the Berkeley Tool Lending Library located at 1901 Russell Street is a great resource for free tool rental.


  • Flocked or plastic trees must fit inside your regular refuse cart or be dropped off for a $29 fee at the Transfer station.


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