New life for (old) holiday trees & lights

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is another in a series of recycling tips from the City of Covington's Neighborhood Services Department, Solid Waste & Recycling Division.)

COVINGTON, Ky. – Once your “live” holiday tree has lost its liveliness, we can help you give it a new (and eco-friendly) life – as a pile of mulch.

Likewise, your burned-out lights can have a brighter future than decaying ever-so-slowly under a pile of earth in a landfill.

All it takes is a little bit of effort.

First, the trees.

Again this year, the Solid Waste & Recycling Division is partnering with our colleagues in Covington’s Public Works Department’s Urban Forestry Division, Keep Covington Beautiful, and Rumpke Waste & Recycling to keep “dead” holiday trees out of landfills.

You have two options:

One, you can set it out with your trash on your normal collection day (but make sure you let Rumpke know at least 48 hours in advance by calling (800) 828-8171). That option is available from Jan. 4 through Jan. 18.

Or two, drop your tree off at one of three locations from Dec. 26 through Jan. 18:

  • In South Covington, at the parking lot at Tripoli and Hands Pike, next to the park.
  • At the Urban Forestry Garage at 1700 Montague Road in Devou Park.
  • In the parking lot at 14 Pete Rose Pier, which is at the foot of Bakewell Street on the north side of the Ohio River floodwall.

In either case, strip your tree of lights, ornaments, and tinsel, and don’t put the tree in a bag or box.

The trees will be ground into mulch that will be used by the Urban Forestry Division and offered to residents or neighborhood groups for community gardens and neighborhood beautification efforts. To schedule a mulch pickup, email Cassandra Homan at

Second, the lights.

The City has partnered with Cohen Recycling and Keep Covington Beautiful to set out barrels to collect non-working strands lights at a half dozen locations in the City and Kenton County. The lights will be stripped of useable copper.

For those locations and other information, click HERE.