Christmas tree and pinecones

HSY recycles Christmas trees for free

Trees left in an easy-to-see place by rubbish bins will be picked up by the Helsinki region’s waste management services and turned into compost.

Waste management and water services company Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY) will soon begin collecting discarded Christmas trees at no charge, in a practice that has seen about 55,000 trees in the capital region turned into wood chips each year.

HSY will retrieve trees left in a clearly visible spot near waste containers at residential properties, schools and day care centres. The service will be available in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and the city of Kirkkonummi throughout the months of January and February. The company advises residents to leave the trees outside shared waste container shelters, as the discarded trees should not interfere with use of the facility.

Most of the trees collected are sent to the Ämmässuo biowaste treatment plant in Espoo for chipping, after which the material is utilized in biowaste composting.

For properties without biowaste collection, HSY’s waste management workers will collect the discarded trees as part of their normal mixed waste pickup and transport them to a combustion plant, where they are used to produce district heat and electricity.

It is also possible through the month of January to drop off individual trees at one of the five Sortti stations in the Helsinki metropolitan area at no cost. See the HSY website for the address of the station closest to you.

Artificial trees should be disposed of in mixed waste rubbish bins. Sortti stations charge a small fee for the processing of discarded artificial trees.