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Ann Arbor Shares Christmas Tree Drop-off Locations and Composting Updates

Archived News Release: December 7, 2023 - ​The City of Ann Arbor regular, seasonal curbside composting pickups will conclude Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. In 2024, the city will once again offer winter pickup of compost carts as part of the monthly winter composting program. Compost cart pickups will take place the weeks of Jan. 8, Feb. 5, and March 4, 2024. 

Please keep the following guidance in mind to help prevent material from freezing to carts:  

  • Drain as much liquid as possible from food scraps. 

  • Place an opened paper yard-waste bag inside the compost cart to hold the food scraps or yard material.  

  • Put pieces of flattened cardboard (one–two large pizza boxes are perfect) at the bottom of the compost cart before adding produce. This buffer at the bottom of the cart allows the materials to slide out more easily and not freeze to the cart. 

  • To keep the compost cart from getting messy, wrap drippy, wet items (e.g., coffee grounds, melon rinds) in one–two sheets of compostable paper towels before putting into the compost cart. 

  • If material is frozen to the cart when the city attempts service, it won't be serviced again until the following month.

  • Use bungee cords to thwart clever raccoons; remember to remove them at the curb.  

  • Rinse out carts, if temperatures allow, with non-toxic soap and water and empty onto your grass or gravel, never down the storm drain.   

Residents who do not have a compost cart can obtain one for free by contacting the city customer service center at 734.794.6320 or [email protected]. For more information on this program, visit

Christ​​mas Trees 

The City of Ann Arbor will once again provide drop-off disposal locations for used, undecorated Christmas trees beginning Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, through Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. The city provides four free drop-off locations at city parks .  No wreaths, garland, tree stands, lights or decorations are accepted. 

The four park locations will be open for Christmas tree drop offs during normal park hours, 6 a.m.–10 p.m. The collected trees will be chipped on a regular basis at the park sites. The drop-off locations are: 

  1. Bicentennial Park (Southeast Area Park) located on Ellsworth at Platt. Trees may be left at the dirt lot north of the basketball courts.  

  2. West Park parking lot off Chapin near West Huron Street.  

  3. Gallup boat launch parking lot (not the Gallup livery), entrance on the southeast side of Geddes Road, East of Huron Parkway.  

  4. Olson Park parking lot, 1515 Dhu Varren Road, near Pontiac Trail. 

Al​l tree stands, nails, lights, ornaments, tinsel and plastic items must be removed from the trees and discarded before drop off . The collected Christmas trees are chipped into mulch or composted. Any lights, metal, glass or plastic ornaments left on the tree can ruin the processing equipment, harm the operators, and spoil the landscaping mulch. Since wreaths and evergreen roping (garland) are generally made with wire or plastic backing, these items should be discarded by placing inside trash carts.   

After Jan. 15, 2024, Christmas tree branches, less than 6 inches in diameter, can be cut and placed in compost carts for monthly winter compost service or saved for regular curbside compost service, which resumes in April 2024. For more information on composting, visit   

2024 CMA-W ​Compost Changes 

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the City of Ann Arbor will no longer accept BPI-only certified material in compost carts or at the city compost facility. Instead, only selected products identified as being certified "CMA-W," short for Compost Manufacturing Alliance-Windrow, and made of fiber material will be accepted. Bamboo and palm leaf products are currently excluded as they do not break down in the composting process.

To assist residents and businesses in navigating this change, the city website features more-detailed information about CMA-W certified material, including lists of products and distributors. To keep it simple: If it is plastic, it is not accepted. Learn more at  

The City of Ann Arbor continues to emphasize that single-use items, even if compostable, are not a solution to climate change or pollution of the environment. The city has adopted the goal of reduce, reuse, recycle because it represents the best way to reach our sustainability and environmental goals. The city notes, first, we must strive to reduce material we use; second, we must find ways to reuse what has already been produced; finally, we should recycle material that conserves energy and saves natural resources like metals and paper. 

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Media Contact Information

Robert Kellar
Communications Specialist
734.794.6000 x41524
[email protected]

Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.