City of

Christmas tree collection started Tuesday, January 3.

The FINAL round of collection will begin on January 17. To be collected during the final round, please have your tree to the curb at 7am on the January 17. Trees placed curbside at this time will likely be collected prior to February 1. Placing your tree to the curb after January 17 may result in your tree not being collected during the second round. Your tree may then sit on the terrace until regular brush collection begins later in the year.

Note that snow and ice control operations take precedence over tree collection. For more information, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Residents can bring brush (and Christmas trees) to our drop off sites at 4602 Sycamore Ave or 1501 W. Badger Rd.

COLLECTION DISTRICT MAPS - learn the whereabouts of our collection crews

Use the links below to access maps of each collection district. These maps will provide more detailed information on where our crews are working. If we are not in your area, you can use the maps as a guide to estimate when to place the material curb side to minimize the amount of time it is on the curb.

explaining the brush rotation

Brush crews start the collection season in the area of Madison with a Monday refuse collection day. Crews check each street within this area looking for brush piles and they will collect what is out. Once each street in the area of the city with a Monday refuse collection day has received their pass for collection, crews rotate to the area of the city with a Tuesday refuse collection day. Once each street in the Tuesday district has been serviced, crews move to the Wednesday district, then the Thursday district, followed by the Friday district. Upon completion of the Friday collection district, crews loop back to the Monday district for the next round. Crews will rotate through the city in this manner for as many collection rounds we can perform during our normal collection period, which is generally April to September. The actual start of the first and last rounds will be announced when those dates are known.

General Guidelines
  • The brush collection program serves property owners who maintain their own property.
  • The brush collection period begins in early April after the winter thaw. The final collection round begins in the middle to end of September in order to have brush collection finished prior to the fall leaf collection.
    • Note: Christmas tree collection occurs in January as weather permits - see below for more information about this service.
  • Material cut by contractors will NOT be collected. Please make arrangements with the contractor for material disposal.
  • All material collected is chipped and recycled as mulch or as a bulking agent for compost.
  • Brush piles that will take longer than 10 minutes for our chipper crews to collect will instead be assigned to a one-man crane vehicle to collect. The crane vehicle, or clam, will typically arrive within three business days of receiving the report of the large brush pile from the chipper crew.
    • Clam trucks only collect very large brush piles, or piles in dead-ends that cannot be serviced by the tow-behind wood chipper crews, so their progress is slower than the chipper crews.

Brush Collection Rules

To keep program costs down and prevent damage to equipment and private property follow these collection rules:

Brush not following the below rules may not be collected by our crews.

  • Stack brush with the cut ends facing the same direction.
  • Brush is tree and shrub trimmings over 18" in length.
  • Brush may not exceed 8' length and 8" diameter
  • Remove all roots, stumps, and dirt.
  • Place brush on the terrace at the street edge away from trees, parked cars, fire hydrants, utility poles, mail boxes and other obstructions.
  • Bundle small amounts of brush with string or twine. Bundles may not exceed 4 feet in length or weigh more than 40 pounds.
    • If you choose to bundle your small piles of brush, you must use string or twine. Do not use any form of wire. Wire can damage the chipper blades.
  • Do not put brush in the street.
  • Do not block the sidewalk.

The following material will NOT be collected
  • Brush cut or trimmed by contractors. Persons hired by the property owners are responsible for removing material.
  • Small twigs and branches less than 18" in length.
  • Brush commingled with yard waste.
  • Material cleared from lots or undeveloped property
  • Material in boxes, bags or containers.


Christmas Tree Collection - 2017

The Streets Division will provide two rounds of Christmas tree collection, weather permitting.

Regardless of which day your refuse is collected, have your tree out by 7:00 a.m. on the starting date of either round of Christmas tree collection;

Round One will start on Tuesday January 3, 2017.

Round Two will start on Tuesday January 17, 2017

Weather permitting, trees placed out on January 3 will likely will be collected sometime prior to January 17, weather permitting. Trees placed out on January 17 will likely be collection sometime prior to February 1, weather permitting, of course. Plowing and other snow and ice safety control issues take priority over tree collection and may cause delays.

Christmas Tree Collection Rules

  • Remove all tree stands regardless of whether they are metal or wood.
  • Remove all light strings, ornaments and other metal objects.
  • Remove any tree bags.
  • Place trees at the street edge only.
  • If trees become buried under snow residents are asked to dig out trees.
  • Wreaths, evergreen rope, garlands, and boughs will NOT be collected with holiday trees. These items should be placed with your tan refuse cart.