How to dispose of Christmas trees in South Bend, Elkhart

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("Christmas Tree Disposal" by Chris Marchant, CC BY 2.0)

The City of South Bend will offer free Christmas tree disposal for residents within city limits. The free disposal will run from Wednesday, Jan. 2 through Thursday, Jan. 31, with pickup taking place on the same day as trash pickup. Residents can schedule their pickup by submitting an online request atsouthbendin.gov/treepickup or by calling 311.

Residents are asked to follow the guidelines for safe and efficient tree pickup:

  • All trees must be placed at the curb by 6 a.m. on the day of pickup. Trees should not be placed in the street or alley. Cars should not be parked on top or in front of the tree, as this could hamper crews from collecting it.
  • All lights, ornaments, plastic coverings/wraps and metals, such as nails or tree stands, must be removed from the tree prior to pick upItems left on trees can injure employees or seriously damage the tree shredding equipment, leaving it inoperable.
  • Artificial trees and trees containing any metal, glass or wire will not be collected. Residents will be responsible for the proper disposal of these items.

Free Christmas tree pickup only includes the removal of one tree per household. Additional Christmas trees can be removed and billed at a rate of $10 per tree. After January 31, any Christmas tree pickups scheduled will be used as the residents’ free monthly yard waste extra pickup.

For more information on Christmas tree disposal, visit southbendin.gov/treepickup or call 311.


Mayor Tim Neese announced that drop off centers are now available for Elkhart residents to dispose of their household Christmas trees. The city is offering four locations where trees can be disposed of at no cost.

  • West Side Middle School (Parking lot on Nappanee St.)
    101 S. Nappanee St.
  • North Side Middle School (Parking lot near the track on Bristol St.)
    300 Lawrence St.
  • Riverview Park Softball Complex (Parking lot on Riverview Ave. behind Riverview Elementary School)
    340 Riverview Ave.
  • Pierre Moran Pool (Parking lot on Lusher Ave. behind Pierre Moran School)                    200 W. Lusher Ave.

Beginning Monday, January 7, residents within the Elkhart city limits may also place their trees curbside to be picked up on their regular trash collection day. All ornaments, stands, lights, wrappings and other objects should be removed from the trees prior to disposal. Barrels will be provided at the four locations above should residents need to dispose of such objects.

Both programs will run through Friday, January 18.

For additional information, please contact the Elkhart Buildings and Grounds Department at 574-970-0542.

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