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Farewell, fir: How to get rid of your Christmas tree in Austin

Eric Webb
Austin 360
Jeff Livingston and his sons Liam, 4, left, and James, 6, recycle their Christmas tree in Zilker Park on Monday. The trees will be turned into mulch, which will be available for free on a first come, first served basis beginning Jan. 14.

It's a few days into January, which means that you no longer have an excuse to keep a dead tree in your living room. All things go, friend.

Yes, with the holiday season in the rear view, it's time to dispose of your Christmas tree. Unless you're the kind of person who keeps that dry cloud of pine needles in your home until Valentine's Day! Chase your bliss.

Here's how to get rid of that Tannenbaum in the Austin area. And a note: Remember to take off decorations and tree stands. 

Curbside

If you receive curbside collection service from the city of Austin, you can put your tree out by 6:30 a.m. on composting/yard waste collection day. If that green guy is taller than 6 feet, cut it in half, and don't put the tree in a bag. Trees with flocking (aka artificial snow) won't be taken up. Find your designated collection day at austintexas.gov/page/my-collection-schedule.

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Drop it off at the park

Perhaps the most poetic of all disposal options: Cart your tree off to Zilker Park so it can be turned into mulch. (Very "circle of life.") Anyone in town can bring their tree for contactless drop-off at Zilker. 

The first drop-off weekend has come and gone, but you can still bid a fond farewell to your fir from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 9 and 10.

Trees with flocking won't be accepted. Wear a face covering. If you want to grab some of that sweet, sweet mulch, come back starting at 9 a.m. Jan 14; mulch distribution is first come, first served. You'll need to bring your own containers.

Elsewhere

The city of Austin provides a handy online list of other free (and paid) drop-off locations around the area, including in Bee Cave, Cedar Park, Creedmoor, Del Valle, Leander and Round Rock. Go to austintexas.gov/treerecycling for more information.

Round Rock residents can take their tree to the Brush Recycling Center during "any regular operating day," according to the city website

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Bastrop residents can recycle their tree in front of the public works yard at 1209 Linden St. for free until Jan. 17, according to the city's Facebook page.

Cities with Texas Disposal Systems green waste service — Buda, Kyle, Georgetown, San Marcos and Sunset Valley — can leave their tree for curbside pickup on regular collection days through Jan. 31. Go to texasdisposal.com/christmas-tree-recycling for more information.