Christmas Tree Recycling – Canterbury City Council

Saturday 8 January 2022 - Tuesday 11 January 2022

All tree collections in the Canterbury City Council area have now been completed.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to have their real Christmas tree recycled this year. More than £7,000 has been raised for hospice care in the Canterbury area alone!

We regret that we can not accept any late bookings for collections. Please do NOT use the general Pilgrims Hospices donation form to donate for a Tree Recycling booking as this will not be included in our collection rounds.


Pilgrims Hospices Tree Recycling initiative is celebrating its 10th anniversary since its inception in the Ashford Borough Council area, raising over £125,000 for local hospice care in that time.

Now, we are thrilled to bring you the tree-mendous news that due to popular demand, we've branched out and are now about to recycle your real Christmas trees in the Canterbury City Council area for the first time.

We will be collecting in the following areas:

  • Canterbury
  • Herne Bay
  • Whitstable

Check whether your address is in the Canterbury City Council area here!

When it comes to saying farewell to your festive fir, Pilgrims can help you enjoy a hassle-free end to the Christmas period with our environmentally-friendly service, that also raises vital funds for end-of-life care. Every tree that is collected will help to care for people facing an incurable illness in our community.

Canterbury Tree Recycling

If you live within the Canterbury City Council area, Pilgrims are now able to recycle your real Christmas Tree! We will be able to collect your tree from your household and take it to be recycled for your chosen donation.

Register and donate by midnight on Monday 3rd January (unless capacity is reached prior to this), and doorstep collections will take place between Saturday 8th and Tuesday 11th January 2022.

In our inaugural year for household collections in the Canterbury area, Pilgrims volunteer elves will be collecting trees on specially planned designated routes from households in selected areas within the Canterbury City Council area. Once booked, the Pilgrims team will email you to confirm your registration and in the days prior to the collection with instructions for your tree.

Drop-off station: If you live outside of the Canterbury City Council area you can still support Pilgrims Hospices and recycle your real Christmas tree by bringing it to our designated drop-station at Macknade, Faversham on Saturday 8th (9:00 - 16:00) and Sunday 9th (10:00 - 16:00) January 2022. Please book online in advance for the drop-off station at Macknade by clicking here.

Pilgrims volunteers will do all the hard work for you, and in turn, you will be helping to support the vital end-of-life care of local people through your donations, thank you.

We are busy planning our collections in the Canterbury City Council area, and our hospice elves are excited to be branching out into Canterbury for the first time

The Tree Recycling doorstep collections are new to Canterbury this festive season and we hope our community supports their local hospice by donating and booking their tree in for collection. Or, if they live outside of the Canterbury City Council area, then by recycling their real tree at our drop-off station at Macknade in Faversham.

Leila Ilkhan, Pilgrims Hospices Canterbury Community Fundraising Manager

Registration (Closed)

You must register your tree for collection by midnight on Monday 3rd January 2022. Our capacity for registrations in our first year is 500 online bookings. If capacity is reached prior to Monday 3rd January registrations will be closed. This is to allow our team to carefully plan the extensive dedicated collection routes, no late bookings can be accepted. We encourage you to book your tree in for collection as soon as possible.

Please note:

  • Collections will take place between Saturday 8th and Tuesday 11th January 2021 from 7:30am.
  • All trees must be left in a clearly visible and safely accessible place at your property.
  • Our volunteers will be working hard to collect the trees in a new area, so when booking please give an accurate description of the location that you intend to leave your tree.
  • Any trees over 8ft tall or 4ft wide will need to be chopped in advance.
  • Please let us know when booking if you have more than one tree (maximum of 2 trees per household).
  • Trees with decorations, in bases or pots will not be collected, as these cannot be recycled with the trees. Please make sure only the tree is left out for collection. Trees must be left at the exterior of the front of your property and please do not block public access.

Tree recycling is operated as a free service by Pilgrims Hospices. Please show your appreciation by giving generously to support Pilgrims Hospices to be able to be there for the next family who needs our specialist care and support.

Check whether your address is in the Canterbury City Council area via this map

Please note: images were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-amendments for collections

You'll see some changes to our Christmas tree collections in order to keep both you and our team safe. The scheme has been extended over four days to allow for social distancing, with less volunteers working in family bubbles or work teams and wearing PPE.

These measures include:

  • Reduced crew sizes to allow for social distancing and extended collections over 4 days to allow for fewer crew members.
  • Our team will be working in family units, bubbles and safe team formats. All crew members not in a family bubble will be encouraged to wear face coverings, using hand sanitiser regularly and following strict measures, including lateral flow testing prior to the collections.
  • Trees must be left in an easy to collect location at the exterior of the front of your property and please do not block public access.

Pilgrims Hospices will continue to monitor government guidance regarding any potential impact to the event relating to restrictions. The event will be operated in a safe format throughout. We are working closely with KCC, local councils, recycling centres and private land owners regarding the safe operation. We will continue to update you should there be any changes to the proposed operation.

How your donation could help

This Christmas, your kind support could help local people who are living with a life-limiting illness.

  • £12 could pay for a patient's Christmas dinner.
  • £15 could give a complimentary therapy session to a patient, relieving anxiety.
  • £20 could provide for a physiotherapy session to help patients stay active and enjoy festive games with their family on Christmas day.
  • £30 could pay for our Community Team to hold a video consultation with a patient in their own home.
  • £45 could pay for one-on-one counselling for someone struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one this festive season.
  • £100 could allow our community nurses to continue making home visits, ensuring that patients can spend Christmas at home with family and friends.

How are the Christmas trees recycled and how is the money raised?

This campaign in the Ashford Borough Council is celebrating its 10th year milestone, and has raised an incredible £125,000 to support the vital care of patients facing incurable illness in east Kent. Each year Pilgrims volunteers collect over 1,350 real Christmas trees and in 2019 raised in excess of £21,000 thanks to kind donations. We are only able to raise this through our community giving generously when registering online. Now we're thrilled to be branching out in the Canterbury City Council area for the first time.

The tale of the collected trees is that they are picked up on specially planned rounds by our volunteer elves and the trees are taken to a local Household Waste and Recycling Centre, with the support of Kent County Council and FCC Environment. From there, they are taken to specialist recycling farms at Blaise Farm in West Malling and Hope Farm in Capel-le-Ferne. They are then composted within a covered building system and turned into two grades of compost, a 20mm grade used for agricultural purposes and a 10mm grade used as a soil improver for general composting and landscaping uses within the local area. What’s even better is that, whilst helping to support the charity, you will be reducing your environmental impact too. Some of our trees are also chipped and used for composts locally, some are used for horse jumps at an equestrian centre and others are chipped and donated to an animal rescue centre. So, as you can see, your tree’s onward journey is far more valuable than just being put out after Christmas.

Companies pledge support

Special thanks to our partners Kent County Council and FCC Environment, and Canterbury City Council for supporting the initiative.

Thank you so much for your support

Every generous donation from our amazing community of supporters helps to make sure we can be there for the next family who needs us.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, find out about the full range of services Pilgrims can offer.

Why not embrace the spirit of Christmas even more with our other festive fundraising activities:

  • Santas on the Run! Tri-Series: A 3k or 5k festive fun run for the whole family to enjoy in Herne Bay, Folkestone and Margate.
  • Letters from Santa: Request a beautifully illustrated and personalised Letter from Santa for a loved one, in return for a donation.
  • Christmas e-cards: View our fantastic range of festive e-card designs and donate the cost of cards and stamps this year.


Contact information


Contact name: Leila Ilkhan

Phone: 01227 812621