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How to get rid of your Christmas tree without risking £400 fine – rubbish collection rules explained

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CHRISTMAS decorations are coming down across the country leaving many with a tree to get rid of.

But if you don’t dispose of it in the right way, you could start the year with a fine of hundreds of pounds.

Dumping your Christmas tree in the wrong place could land you with a fine

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Dumping your Christmas tree in the wrong place could land you with a fineCredit: Getty

Twelfth night is traditionally the day when Christmas decorations are taken down – and some even believe it’s bad luck if you leave them up longer.

That means 12 days from Christmas Day, January 5, is the day for ditching decorations (also known as Ephinany).

You have several options for getting of your Christmas tree, but leaving it on the street could be considered fly-tipping in some areas.

If you’re caught fly-tipping, you could be slapped with a fine of up to £400 – not the best way to start the new year.

For instance, Bromley and Leicestershire councils have issued a warning that residents face a penalty if they don’t dispose of their tree in the right way.

Exactly how to dispose of your tree will depend on your area, as each council sets waste collection rules.

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Some councils offer kerbside recycling. For instance, in Camden there are specific points to drop your tree between January 3 and 14.

Residents of Bromley can take their Christmas Tree to specific temporary sites at certain times and dates where the council will then recycle them.

It warns that Christmas trees and garden waste must not be left outside these times or it “will be considered fly-tipping and fly-tippers will be prosecuted”.

Some areas accept real Christmas trees disposed in garden waste bins or at recycling centres.

For example, in Leicestershire old trees can be taken to Recycling and Household Waste Sites (RHWS) and some locations there will accept them in your garden waste bins.

The council says: “Please dispose of your real/cut Christmas tree responsibly after Christmas. 

“Fly-tipping Christmas trees is an offence and you could be prosecuted or face a fine.”

How can I get rid of my Christmas tree?

As the rules vary depending on where you live, it’s best to check directly so you can follow them and avoid a fly-tipping fine.

You can find your local council website using the tool on gov.uk and searching your postcode.

Of course, however you dispose of it, you’ll need to make sure all your decorations are removed first.

And the rules only apply to real Christmas trees – fake ones can be boxed up and used again next year.

There are other options for getting rid of your Christmas tree too, and they could be better for your wallet as well as the environment.

You could try planting your tree to use again next year if you have a garden and space to grow it.

It might also save you money on buying another one if you can make it last.

A couple who planted a 6ft Christmas tree in 1978 now use a cherry-picker to decorate the 50ft giant with 3,000 lights in an annual tradition.

Composting the tree is another option, but you’ll need to cut it into far smaller sections before adding it to your heap.

Many charities will also come and collect your tree for recycling in return for a small donation – you can find ones in your area here.

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This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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