Here’s Where Chicagoans Can Recycle Their Christmas Trees in 2024

(Gary Spears / Pexels)(Gary Spears / Pexels)

With the holiday season coming to a close, it’s time to let go of that Christmas tree.

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One option? Recycle it.

Live and natural holiday trees (no fake plastic trees) can be dropped off in a tree recycling corral at one of 27 designated locations in Chicago from Jan. 6-20.

The city’s annual holiday tree recycling program is led by the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation in partnership with the Chicago Park District.

All ornaments, lights, tinsel and tree stands, in addition to plastic bags used for transport, must be removed before the tree is dropped off.

Trees are then turned into mulch for city residents, local parks and forests, according to the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Free mulch will be available to residents starting Jan. 8 at six select locations: Lincoln Park, Margate Park, North Park Village, Forestry Site, Warren Park and Mt. Greenwood Park.

Below is where you can find a drop-off location near you.

  • Bessemer Park, 8930 S. Muskegon Ave.
  • Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1369 N. Sacramento Ave.
  • *Lincoln Park, Cannon Drive at Fullerton Avenue (East Side of Cannon Drive)
  • West Chatham Park, 8223 S. Princeton Ave.
  • Rowan Park, 11546 S. Avenue L
  • Clark Park, 3400 N. Rockwell St.
  • Jackson Park, 6300 S. Cornell Ave.
  • *Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Drive
  • *North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski Road
  • Sheridan Park, 910 S. Aberdeen St.
  • *Forestry Site, 900 E. 103rd St.
  • Kennedy Park, 2427 W. 113th St.
  • Marquette Park, 6700 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • Norwood Park (Service Yard), 5800 N. Avondale Ave.
  • Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland Ave.
  • Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
  • Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.
  • Mahalia Jackson Park, 8385 S. Birkhoff Ave.
  • McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Road
  • Portage Park, 4100 N. Long Ave.
  • *Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave.
  • Grant Park, 900 S. Columbus Drive
  • Lake Meadows Park, 3117 S. Rhodes Ave.
  • *Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.
  • Riis Park, 6201 W. Wrightwood Ave.
  • Wentworth Park, 5701 S. Narragansett Ave.
  • Hiawatha Park, 8029 W. Forest Preserve Drive

*Free mulch will be available to residents starting Jan. 8.

Lake County Forest Preserves is also accepting Christmas trees for recycling at eight forest preserves through Feb. 1. Click here for more information.

Another way of preventing your Christmas tree from ending up in a landfill: Live Christmas trees can be used outdoors as wildlife shelters, according to Spencer Campbell, plant clinic manager and horticulture specialist at the Morton Arboretum.

“If space permits—and neighbors don’t mind—the tree can be left in the backyard to provide shelter for birds and other animals during winter,” Campbell said in a press release, adding that individuals can also place the trunk in a pond on their private property to provide shelter for fish.

Contact Eunice Alpasan: @eunicealpasan | 773-509-5362 | [email protected]

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