How to recycle your tree and lights

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

Even though you might leave those holiday decorations up for a few more days, the Rapid City Solid Waste Department wants to make sure you're prepared when it's time to take down that tree and recycle your lights.

The City has two designated Christmas tree collection sites: West Boulevard North and Fitzgerald Stadium. Collection runs from Dec. 26 – Jan. 29. If you cover your tree in a plastic bag for transport, you’re asked to remove it before dumping, as well as any decorations and lights.

"We get so many trees. There’s no way we can take those off. And when we grind that and do the process to make compost, unfortunately, those plastic bags will be in the compost. They have no nutritional value for any gardens; plastic does not decompose in any short length of time," says Landfill Sustainability Coordinator Beth-Anne Ferley. 

There is also a new lighted and secured drop off site at the entrance to the landfill on South Highway 79. It’s called the Citizen Campus and is open 24 hours.

Holiday Schedules for Rapid City Administrative Offices/Trash Collection

From Dec. 25 - 31 there will be extra cardboard containers for corrugated cardboard only. Please remove wrapping paper, ribbons and bows.

Damaged Christmas lights can be recycled in your blue bin or at any of the below locations:

  • Ace Hardware: 1602 E Saint Patrick St. and 320 West Boulevard St.
  • Family Thrift Stores:  1516 East St Patrick St, 855 Omaha St, 751 Mountain View Road
  • Boyd’s - Baken Park - Entrance into Boyd’s Liquor
  • Rapid City Library - 610 Quincy St  
  • CSAC Building – 300 Sixth St
  • Education Center - Rapid City Landfill

Ferley encourages residents to donate artificial trees, ornaments and other unwanted decorations, rather than dump them.

Residents may continue to bring Christmas trees, yard waste and branches to the Rapid City Landfill, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. 

For more information, download the free “My Waste” App.

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