Chicago Offers 25 Drop-Off Sites for Recycling Your Christmas Tree

Starting later this week, Chicagoans will be able to recycle their used Christmas trees at more than two dozen drop-off locations throughout the city.

As part of Chicago’s annual holiday tree recycling program, residents can drop off their trees inside designated tree corrals at 25 locations operated by the Chicago Park District, which manages the program in partnership with the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Trees recycled through the program, which begins Saturday and runs through Jan. 18, are turned into mulch and wood chips for use at Park District sites. The materials are also used by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

“Recycling your holiday tree gives it new life,” said DSS Commissioner John F. Tully in a statement. “We encourage residents to recycle live trees to help keep them out of alleys and divert valuable organic material from landfills.”

Ornaments, lights and tinsel must be removed from trees prior to drop-off. Trees should also be removed from any bags.

The city is not able to collect wreaths and garland as part of the recycling program.  

More than 268,000 trees have been turned into mulch since the program began in 1990, including more than 17,000 trees last year, according to the Park District.

Startings Jan. 6, residents will be able to pick up free mulch at six of the drop-off locations:

  • Forestry Site, 900 E. 103rd St. 
  • Lincoln Park, Cannon Drive at Fullerton Avenue (Parking lot east of Cannon Drive)
  • 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.