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Christmas tree recycling

Scroll down this page for local Chicago area of Illinois 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 26th through the first 2 or 3 weeks in January.  Whether your tree is picked up from your curb,Grinding Christmas trees into mulch 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!

Chicago area of Illinois January 2021 Curbside, Local Recycling and Disposal Options for Trees, Lights and Other Holiday Waste

Chicago area of Illinois January 2021 Curbside, Local Recycling and Disposal Options for Trees, Lights and Other Holiday Waste

     Chicago area Christmas Tree Recycling

    For other areas of Illinois, including towns and cities outside of Chicgo, click here


    • Chicago - 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 9, 2021 through Saturday, January 23, 2021 (the second and third full weeks of January) , at 25 locations citywide to be chipped and turned into mulch. Free mulch* will be available to residents for pick up beginning Friday, in mid January. 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 Recycling, will schedule a pick up from your residence and take the tree to a local nursery for chipping and composting. Schedule a tree pick up on the Right Thing Recycling website here 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:
      • (*indicates free mulch locations)
      • Bessemer Park, 8930 S. Muskegon Ave.
      • Clark Park, 3400 N. Rockwell St.
      • Forestry Site*, 900 E. 103rd St.
      • Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
      • 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 Cannon Dr.)
      • 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.
      • Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland
      • Warren Park*, 6601 N. Western Ave.
      • Wentworth Park, 5701 S. Narragansett Ave.
        West Chatham Park, 8223 S. Princeton

      • For more information on recycling in Chicago visit
      • Other recycling in Chicago