Christmas Tree Madness: Prague’s Annual Post-Holiday Cleanup

Every year, after the holiday season, the streets of Prague are filled with discarded Christmas trees. This year was no different, as Prague’s services began their annual task of collecting thousands of Christmas trees from the city streets.

The first Christmas trees traditionally appear on the streets of the metropolis after Christmas Day, but the most significant wave always comes around Epiphany. “We usually collect the trees until the end of February,” said Alexander Komarnický, spokesman for Prague’s services.

Cleaning crews collect discarded Christmas trees and take them to collection points throughout Prague. The largest transfer stations are located on Průmyslová, Proboštská, and Puchmajerova streets. “Over the past days, we have brought trees here. Over the whole weekend, several hundred, maybe even a thousand, have accumulated here,” the spokesman pointed to a massive pile of smaller and larger trees next to the parking spaces.

“Tree madness” is what they call it, and it happens every year after January 6th. This is when people start massively throwing out their trees. “It goes slowly in this cold. It could be faster,” evaluates one of the local workers, Tomáš Beneš. Other than the colder weather at the beginning of the week, however, nothing spoils the mood of the employees, and they consider today’s long and high pile of conifers.

According to Komarnický, hundreds of thousands of Christmas trees are discarded by the inhabitants of the Prague metropolis after the holidays. They should be taken to dustbins and containers but not placed inside them so as not to unnecessarily take up the capacity of the containers. “They belong either to the black or to the colored dustbins. If people have a black dustbin under lock and key, inside a block of flats or directly in the house, we ask them to take the trees to the colored ones,” advises the spokesman of Prague’s services. Ideally, this should be done the day before waste collection, not earlier.