Christmas Tree Pick-up for Recycling in Germany

The time has come for our Nordmanntanne (Caucasian fir) to get picked up by the tree collection truck on Monday, 16 January.

We apartment dwellers will just dump it over the balcony. The Hausmeister will go around, and pull them over to the sidewalk.

Our fir has been resting on the balcony ever since we took off its decorations. This is usually done by Epiphany, 6 January.

In Germany,  about 22 million households have a Christmas tree, with a third of them getting decorated the day before Christmas Eve.

When I was a child, the tree got decorated about an hour before the gift-giving on Christmas Eve. The tree had to be a secret, so my folks had to wait till the last moment. It was Christkind who brought the presents and decorated the tree as well.

Some other fun facts:

  • 135.000 children send a wish list to the Christmas post-office in 51777 Engelskirchen (near Cologne).
  • The tradition of eating goose on Christmas Day probably comes from England.
  • 30% of all Germans hope for a white Christmas.
  • 91% of all Germans exchange gifts on Christmas eve.
  • Parents spend on average euro 78 for presents per child.

Christmas Tree pick-up in Germany

Today was the big day for the pick-up. We were told to have the tree out there by the roadside as of 6 a.m. and once the truck passed through, there would be no further chance to dispose of it.

The pick-up is always scheduled in the week after Epiphany, when Germans traditionally take down any Christmas decorations. Epiphany signals the end of the Christmas season.

Christmas tree pick-up in Germany

I don’t know why this woman assisted, unless she brought her little tree by at the very last minute and offered to dump it herself. I am surprised this isn’t against the regulations.

Off the trees go to their next destination, where they will be turned into wood chips.

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