Illinois: Curbside and Local Recycling and Disposal Options for Christmas Trees, Lights and Other Holiday Waste in 2018
Scroll down this page for local recycling and responsible disposal options for holiday waste, from Christmas trees and wreathes, to lights, ornaments, wrapping and packaging. Many towns and cities offer curbside collection, even for Christmas trees. Counties and unicorporated areas typically have a number or drop-off locations.
Christmas trees are usually colllected from December 26 through
the first 2 or 3 weeks in January. Whether your tree is picked up from
your curb, or you drop it off, be sure to remove all
remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands, other
NON-Organic decorative materials and other materials that are not part
of the original tree. This includes tree stands also. Flocked trees are
occasionally accepted (call to verify), but not artificial trees. Large trees (larger
than the standard 6 - 7 ft tree) may need to be cut in half to
be acceptable by your
curbside garbage hauler.
The trees and wreathes are usually chipped and made into a mulch
which is ofteny made available, free to city or county residents.
Ornaments and light strings are usually placed into your
curbside collection bin. Some localities have year-round
collection centers. The same is true of wrapping paper and boxes.
Always follow the links (usually the blue, underlined name of the city or county) below for updated information, as these agencies often wait until the last minute to change dates or update their information.
If your area is not specifically mentioned below, call your trash collection
agency and ask!
The Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago allow you to recycle your Christmas tree at one of
parks across the city. Drop it off at a location listed below
from SATURDAY, JANUARY 2 —FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 to be chipped and
turned into mulch. Free mulch*will be available to residents for
pick up beginning Friday, January 11. For additional
information, please call 311 or visit
Chicago Recycles. For a small donation (usually set at around $10), the not-for-profit recycling company, Do the Right Thing, will schedule a pick up from your residence and take the tree to a local nursery for chipping and composting. Contact them at
The City of Chicago also offers electronic and household chemical
recycling at Household
Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility 1150
N. North Branch Street. Participating
tree recycling sites:
- Bessemer Park, 8930 S. Muskegon Ave.
- Clark Park, 3400 N. Rockwell St.
- Forestry Site, 900 E. 103rd St.
- Garfield Park, 100 N. Central ParkAve.
- Grant Park, 900 S. Columbus Dr.
- Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1369 N. Sacramento Ave.
- Jackson Park, 6300 S. Cornell Ave.
- Kennedy Park, 2427 W. 113th St.
- Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.
- Lake Meadows Park, 3117 S. Rhodes Ave.
- Lincoln Park Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Ave. (Parking lot east of
- Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Dr.
- Marquette Park, 6700 S. Kedzie Ave.
- McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
- Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.
- North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.
- Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma Ave.
- Portage Park, 4100 N. Long Ave.
- Riis Park, 6201 W. Wrightwood Ave.
- Rowan Park, 11546 S. Avenue L
- Sheridan Park, 910 S. Aberdeen St.
- Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave.
- Wentworth Park, 5701 S. Narragansett Ave.
Kane County Christmas Tree Recycling. You can drop trees off at the following
Advanced Disposal (Veolia)
Transfer Station, 766 Hunter Drive (corner of Hubbard &
Hunter), Batavia, IL, 60510. Phone: 630-879-3587. Hours:
Monday to Friday
6am–5pm, Sat 6am-10am. Please remove all decorations, tinsel,
lights, etc. Cost: $15. Note: Special Saturday drop-off, 6am-10am,
$25 for a load of mixed material, equivalent to a pick-up truck
level bed full, can include a tree for no extra cost.
Midwest Compost; 1320 Spaulding Rd.
in Elgin, IL, 60120. Phone: 847-931-2900. Hours: Monday to
Please remove all decorations, tinsel, lights, and plastic bags used
for transporting. Closed Christmas and New Year's day. Cost: $10.
Algonquin – Waste Management
will offer free curbside collection of trees from January 3 to January 13 for
existing residential customers. Trees will be chipped and converted to landscape
mulch. Also, trees must be cut in half if over 6 feet and all tinsel and
decorations must be removed. Please do not bag trees and be sure to uncover them
if buried by snow. Also, the Village of Algonquin, in cooperation with Elgin
Recycling, will be offering holiday light recycling November 23
through January 20 at
Ganek Municipal Center, 2200 Harnish Drive. The collection
period has been extended for those who would like to recycle their
holiday lights after this season. A container for your unusable or
unwanted lights will be available in the Ganek Municipal Center
lobby during normal business hours. Items that will be accepted
include mini-lights, C7 lights, C9 lights, rope lights, LED lights,
and extension cords of any length. Please be sure to remove all
tinsel, garland, plastic casing, and other decoration items from the
light sets before they are dropped off. Elgin Recycling will recycle
the lights collected at Ganek Municipal Center and help Algonquin
reduce waste sent to landfills. Please note that household light
bulbs, floodlights, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or fluorescent
bulbs will not be accepted.
Aurora – Aurora Township Christmas Tree Recycling on January 4, 2016.
The Aurora Township Highway Department will collect Christmas trees
and wreaths for unincorporated Aurora Township residents only. The
undecorated tree and wreath pick up will take place on January 4,
2016. (Weather permitting) No bags or plastic of any kind and please
put the cut end toward the street. Additionally, the ATHD will
accept Christmas tree and wreath drop offs from any Aurora Township
resident at our facility at 220 Butterfield Road. The drop off times
are weekdays, 8am until 3pm, between January 4 and January 8, 2016.
If you have any questions, please contact our office at
Aurora Township - The
Aurora Township Highway Department will be initiating a Christmas tree and
wreath pick up service this year for unincorporated Aurora Township residents
only. The undecorated tree and wreath pick up will take place on January 7,
2013. No bags, no plastic of any kind and please put the cut end toward the
street. Drop-off: Additionally,
the ATHD will accept Christmas tree and wreath drop offs from any Aurora
Township resident at our facility at 220 Butterfield Road. The drop off times
are weekdays, 8am until 3pm, between January 2 and January 11, 2013.
Batavia - Live Christmas
trees will be picked up on residents’ regular collection dates. Tree removal is
freeon the following dates only. After these dates, affix a refuse or
yard waste sticker to the tree and place it at the curb on their regular
collection date. Plastic bags, ornaments, lights, nails, etc. should be removed
from the trees. Live wreaths and garland should be placed in regular refuse.Far West Side (Randall to the west): Monday,
December 31 & Monday, January 7; East Side: Friday,
January 4 & Thursday, January 10; West Side (Fox River to Randall): Saturday,
January 5 & Friday, January 11.
Champaign - Christmas Tree Recycling and Collection
Program. The City of offers two options to recycle your
Drop off for Free
Disposal: Trees may be taken to the Landscape Recycling
Center (344-5323) at 1210 E. University Avenue in Urbana at no cost
during the month of January. or
Curbside Collection: City residents may participate by
placing their tree within four feet of the curb by 6 a.m. on their
scheduled collection day. City residents may participate by placing
their tree within four feet of the curb by 6 a.m. on their scheduled
Trees with stands, decorations, tinsel, lights,
artificial snow-frost, plastic bags, or any other material that
makes the tree non-recyclable WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Collected trees
are chipped and made into garden mulch.
- Dundee Township - Dundee
Township Highway Commission recycles trees. Bring your tree (all decorations
removed) to the Township Garage at 1900 Sleepy Hollow Road (at Rt 72) December
25th through January 15th. The trees can be dropped off anytime. There are signs
showing where to drop them off. We do not pick up any trees and the trees have
to have all decorations removed. Call Highway Commissioner Larry Braasch at
847-426-0898 for more information.
East Dundee - Holiday
greenery must have all tinsel, ornaments, lights and nails removed before being
placed out at the curb for pick-up and cannot be placed in plastic bags. Holiday
greenery collection is FREE the FIRST TWO WEEKS in January.
City of Elgin- Christmas Trees Christmas Trees will be collected
December 26th through January 16 from all residential households.
Stickers are not required for Christmas trees during this period.
All decorations, stands, etc. must be removed from trees in order to
be collected. Do not place trees in plastic bags. Trees in plastic
bags will not be collected. After January 16, each Christmas Tree
will require one visibly affixed refuse sticker to be collected.
Yard waste collection services (except Christmas Trees), are not
provided to condominium and townhome units.
Geneva - Christmas Tree pick
up will be 2nd & 3rd weeks in January without sticker place at curb with
garbage. Note: A waste hauler will be picking them up, not the City trucks.
- Gilberts – The Village of
Gilberts’ Waste Hauler (MDC) shall pickup discarded Christmas trees place on the
curbside on the resident’s normal pickup day after the Christmas holidays until
- Maple Park – Christmas trees
will be picked up on the resident’s service day beginning after December 25th.
Pickup will continue through the month of January. Trees must be free of all
decorations. Trees must not be in plastic bags. Trees over 7 feet must be cut in
Montgomery – Allied Waste
will collect Christmas trees during the first and second full week of January
. Trees must be free of
plastic bags, all decorations (including tinsel) and tree stands, and be placed
at the curb by 6:00 a.m. on your normal collection day. No stickers are
Naperville, IL - ALthough in a pathetic bid towards
political correctness, they call it "Holiday Tree Recycling", the
city will, nonetheless collect you CHRISTMAS TREE on each resident’s
normal garbage collection day during the first 2 full weeks of weeks
of January. Trees must be free of all ornaments, tinsel, lights,
stands and plastic or bagging material. For more information, call
(630) 420-6095. And give them a hard time about calling it a
"holiday tree"! Humbug bureaucrats!
Rockford Illinois Area - See this page for a listing of
Christmas tree drop off locations from Keep Northern Illinois
Beautiful, which has arranged 13 collection sites in Winnebago
County for you to drop off your tree from January 1 – 15. Site times
may vary. Parks are generally open dawn-dusk. Wreaths are not
accepted due to wire frames. Drop-off Trees January 1 thru 15. Mulch
available while it lasts, until cleared — by March 1st
- South Elgin – Allied
Waste/Republic Services will pick up Christmas trees through January 17th on
normally scheduled refuse days. All decorations should be removed before placing
the tree at curbside.
- Springfield, IL - Department of Public Works
crews will collect natural fir and evergreen trees for two weeks
starting Jan. 2 through Jan. 13. Residents are encouraged to put the
trees on the curb by 7 a.m. on Jan. 2. They should not be put in the
way of traffic. There are other rules to follow: No flocking,
ornaments, tinsel or other decorations can be on the trees. Wooden
tree stands must be removed, and garlands and wreaths with wire
won’t be accepted. Residents also can drop off trees and branches
from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the public works
facility, 301 N. 17th St.
St. Charles -
Christmas trees will be picked up during the first two full weeks of
January (4 & 11 in 2016). Trees will be picked up on BOTH sides of
the river on the regular scheduled refuse day. After this two-week
period, a sticker will be required. Trees are NOT to be placed in
disposal bags. Residents should note that all decorations, including
tinsel, must be removed. For more information, contact the Public
Works Department at 630-377-4405 or
- Pingree Grove/ Flood Brothers -
Christmas Trees will be collected for the first three weeks of January at no
charge. During this free three week collection period, trees must be free of all
decorations and cannot be in plastic bags. After the three week collection
period, Christmas trees will be considered a Bulk Item. (Bulk items will be
collected at no extra cost up to seven items each calendar year. Charge after
allowed seven will be $8.60 per item)
Urbana - January each year. The City of Urbana will provide holiday tree collection to
all residents for 2 weeks this holiday season: The first two weeks of January
on your U-Cycle collection day.
West Dundee – Free Christmas
tree collections are scheduled for Saturday, January 5, 2013 and Friday, January
11, 2013 for those households receiving regular refuse collection within the
Village. Trees need to be stripped of all decorations and placed at the curb
with the cut end facing the street. Trees do not have to be cut up, bundled or
placed in yard waste bags. Trees in plastic bags or wrapped in plastic will not
be accepted. In addition, trees or greenery covered with artificial snow cannot
be accepted. Garlands and wreaths must be disassembled. The organic portion
should be placed in a yard waste bag while the rest is discarded as refuse. If
you live in a building with more than three units, contact your building owner
or refuse hauler regarding the disposal of your tree, or deliver it to one of
the drop-offs listed above.
Will County - Christmas Tree Recycling. Check with your
municipality to see if trees are collected curbside for recycling
and composting. If not, consider taking your tree to a designated
Forest Preserve District of Will County drop-off site for mulching.
The pine chips can be used for trails or for landscaping. Trees can
be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at four Forest Preserve
District Visitor Center parking lots: Isle a la Cache Museum in
Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee, Plum Creek Nature Center in
Beecher and Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet. Please
remove all lights and decorations from your tree. For information on
tree recycling program dates, visit
the District’s website.
If you unable to take a tree to a Forest Preserve District drop-off
site or place it at the curb for a special municipal tree
collection, consider placing it in your back yard for a month with
birdseed attached. This allows small birds to find shelter and food
in the winter months and gives the tree more use before it is taken
to a landfill.
- Winnebago County -
13 collection sites in Winnebago County for you to drop off your
tree from January 1 – 15. Site times may vary. Parks are generally
open dawn-dusk. Wreaths are not accepted due to wire frames.
Drop-off Trees January 1 thru 15. Mulch available while it lasts,
until cleared — by March 1st
Click here for locations, updated information and more details.