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Don't be a Grinch: Here's how to recycle your Christmas tree

Tips on what to do with your Christmas tree.

Wondering what you can do to avoid that sad looking Christmas tree in your garbage can?

Around 34 million trees are sold during the Christmas season, and 93 percent of them end up being recycled, according to Minnesota Grown. Here's how to get rid of your tree:

Most trash haulers will pick up your Christmas tree and get rid of it for you if you place it next to your trash can on garbage day – but they often won't pick it up if it's after the first or second week of January, so be sure to check with them, according to the City of Plymouth's website.

If your garbage company doesn't accept trees – or you miss the deadline – there are other options, like bringing your tree to a drop-off site where your tree is recycled or composted.

In Hennepin County, a Christmas tree is considered yard waste, so you can't just place it in the trash can. Here's a list of yard waste drop-off sites you can bring your tree to, just make sure to check the hours of the specific drop-off site and see what fees might be applicable.

It's free to drop-off yard waste in Ramsey County, but you will need a photo ID. A list of those places can be found here.

Duluth has a yearly program for "treecycling" that starts Monday – it's free and the locations are open 24 hours a day, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

If you live in Rochester, you can drop off your tree at the Clinton River Watershed Council from Dec. 31 to Jan. 15, the Rochester Patch reports. While in St. Cloud, there are two Mondays designated for tree pick-ups – on Jan. 2 and Jan. 9. You can read the details here.

One way to personally recycle your tree (and make birds and squirrels really happy) is by putting it in your backyard and hanging fruit, seed cakes, or pinecones smeared with peanut butter on the branches, according to Minneapolis officials. They also suggest using it as winter mulch, by pruning and placing the main branch over your perennials.

Burning the tree is not a viable option, as it can cause chimney fires or a build-up of this stuff called creosote (what's left over after you burn a bunch of wood), according to the Star Tribune.

Recycle Minnesota has a list of what you can do with other holiday items, including wrapping paper, ribbon, holiday lights, and more.

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