Skip to content

Recycling and Refuse Reminders: Christmas Trees and Polystyrene, Needles and Bags

Photo depicts a pile of Christmas tree branches

From taking away your Christmas tree to purging your home of plastic bags, the city’s recycling and trash collections can help you safely clean up from the holidays.

Rockville collects Christmas trees as part of its recycling collection. Place trees at the curb for pickup on regular recycling and trash collection days after removing all ornaments and metals, wires, stands and decorations, including tinsel. Trees should not be bagged. There is no deadline for curbside collection of trees. Artificial trees should be placed in the gray trash cart for regular weekly collection.

Artificial trees that are too large to fit in the cart can be collected by appointment as one of six bulk collections allowed per year or taken to the transfer station. For bulk waste disposal information, visit

The City of Rockville collects used polystyrene as part of its weekly trash collection and takes it, along with other household refuse, for disposal in the county’s waste-to-energy incinerator. Often mistakenly called “Styrofoam,” the material, commonly used to protect package contents during shipping, should not be placed in recycling carts. Instead, place it in the gray trash cart.

When disposing of needles, such as medical sharps and syringes, use containers made of heavy-duty plastic that close tightly with a puncture-proof lid. This prevents our recycling and trash collection crews from getting stuck.

Label the container and place it in the middle of your household trash in the gray trash cart – or find a disposal program. Learn more about safe disposal at

Got a city recycling or trash cart that’s falling apart? Damaged lift bars on city recycling or trash carts can cut customers and crew members. Call 240-314-8568. We’ll replace it for you. To find a nearby grocery store that accepts plastic bags for recycling, visit

Most Recent Articles

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the best of Rockville Reports delivered right to your email and stay up to date on what’s happening in our city.

Contact Us

Have a story idea? Email or call the City of Rockville’s Public Information Office.

About Rockville Reports

Rockville Reports is the official publication of the City of Rockville, published at City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850-2364.