Don’t Trash Your Tree. Chicago’s Christmas Tree Recycling Program Starts Jan. 9

Christmas trees. (Lisa Fotios / Pexels)Christmas trees. (Lisa Fotios / Pexels)

Sales of live Christmas trees reportedly boomed in 2020, with many purchased by first-time live tree buyers.

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As the holiday season winds down, you may be wondering what to do with that dried up pine or fir.

Don’t trash it. Recycle it. The Chicago Park District and Department of Streets and Sanitation have once again teamed up to offer a Christmas tree recycling program.

Two dozen parks across the city will accept trees for recycling from Jan. 9 through Jan. 23. So keep on watering and sweeping up needles a little bit longer.

All tinsel, lights and other decorations must be removed from the tree, as well as any plastic bag used to transport the tree. Garland and wreaths are not accepted.

The trees will be ground into mulch, which will be made available for free, on a first-come first-served basis, beginning Jan. 12 at six of the drop-off locations:

– Forestry Site, 900 E. 103rd St.

–Lincoln Park, Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Ave. 

–Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Drive

–Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.

–North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski Road

–Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave.

In 2019, more than 17,000 Christmas trees were composted through the city’s program, diverting an estimated 620,000 pounds from landfill, according to Recycle by City.

Some ward offices and community groups organize tree collection days. 

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 |  [email protected]

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