Holiday recycling: Turn ‘dead’ tree to mulch

Pick-up, drop-off options save landfill space

COVINGTON, Ky. – We know Christmas isn’t even here yet, but … when the holidays are over and your tree starts shedding needles, the City of Covington wants to turn it into mulch.

To make that happen, the City and Rumpke Waste & Recycling are offering residents both pick-up and drop-off options as part of the 11th annual Holiday Tree Recycling Program.

“This is the ultimate in recycling – we want to take an item that would otherwise take up space in a landfill and turn it into something useful: mulch that can be used to beautify garden spots around Covington,” said Sheila Fields, the City’s Solid Waste & Recycling Manager.

Trees – natural ones, not the artificial ones, of course – need to be stripped of lights, ornaments, tinsel, and other decorations. Trees should not be placed in plastic bags.

Dropping it off

From Dec. 26 through Jan. 18, residents can drop off their tree at one of three locations:

  • South Covington: At the parking lot at Tripoli and Hands Pike, adjacent to Neighborhood Park.
  • Devou Park: At the Urban Forestry Garage at 1625 Montague Road.
  • Riverfront: In the parking lot at 14 Pete Rose Pier. (Follow Bakewell Street to its foot, go through the cut in the Ohio River floodwall, then look to the west in the gravel area.)

Curbside service

From Jan. 4 through Jan. 18, residents can arrange to have their tree picked up on their regular trash collection days. But it’s important to call Rumpke at (800) 828-8171 at least 48 hours in advance because Rumpke sends a special truck.

Other partners on the recycling initiative are the Covington Department of Public Works’ Urban Forestry Division and Keep Covington Beautiful.

The recycled trees will be chipped into mulch, which will be used by Urban Forestry and offered to residents and neighborhood groups for community gardens and neighborhood beautification efforts. To schedule a mulch pickup, contact Urban Forester Patrick Moore at or (859) 292-2300.

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