Christmas cleanup can be a hassle — here are tips for tossing your trees, gift boxes, wrapping paper and more in JoCo

Christmas is fun. The cleanup? Not so much. Here are some ways you can sustainably and quickly dispose of your real Christmas tree, big gift boxes, wrapping paper and old decorations and lights.

Celebrating Christmas typically involves a lot of … stuff. 

Decorations, presents, wrapping paper, boxes, trees. You get it.

Where can I throw away my Christmas tree? (If you have a real one.) 

Some cities offer tree recycling services. For a fuller list of northeast Johnson County cities the Post covers, you can check here.

Overland Park residents can donate real Christmas trees to be mulched at one of the city’s four drop-off locations at Young’s Park, Indian Creek Recreation Center, Quivira Park or the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. 

Leawood offers Christmas tree drop-off to residents in the parking lots of the Leawood City Park, Tomahawk Park or Ironwoods Park.

Olathe residents can drop off trees at the composting facility at 127th and Hedge Lane. They can also leave them at the curb on collection day. 

Lenexa residents have until Jan. 10 to drop off trees, wreaths and garlands at the Little Mill Creek North parking lot. They can also schedule a tree pickup with local Boy Scout Troop 136. 

Make sure to remove every decoration from the tree first. 

How should I dispose of wrapping paper? 

Any wrapping paper that doesn’t have glitter, foil or plastic can be recycled and taken to drop-off sites.

Most non-paper products, including gift ribbons, must be thrown away or reused instead of recycled. 

Where should big boxes and plastic packaging go? 

Cardboard boxes can be recycled, but they should be flattened first. If they’re really big, you may consider cutting them up with a box cutter. 

While plastic bags and packaging can’t be dropped off to be recycled, they can be reused if salvageable. 

What can I do with food waste?

If your family has leftovers after the holidays, composting food scraps is possible in Johnson County.

Local organizations like FoodCycle KC, Compost Collective KC and KC Can Compost can pick up food waste and take it to be composted.

What can I do with old holiday lights?

Johnson County has various drop-off locations for holiday lights, whether they’re broken, burnt out or intact. Residents can bring them to one of the following places to recycle them. 

  • Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center in Mission (until Jan. 15)
  • Kansas Government Recycling Center in Overland Park (throughout January) 
  • MRC- Certified Electronics Recycling at 2000 East 19th Street in Kansas City
  • Westlake Ace Hardware stores