free christmas tree recycling

Where to Recycle your 2017 Christmas Tree for FREE in Chicago in Jan 2018

Beginning on Wednesday, January 6, 2018, Chicagoans will be able to drop off their used, real holiday trees for free Christmas tree recycling at any one of 25 sites through Wednesday, January 20, 2015.     Trees dropped off at any of the 25 locations will be ground into fragrant mulch by DSS and Chicago Park District forestry crews.   CLICK HERE or call 311 to find a tree drop-off location or mulch pick-up location near you.  A few locations will offer free mulch — made from the trees — to interested residents.    Chicago’s Christmas tree recycling program was organized by the Department of Streets and Sanitation and the Chicago Park District in 1990. Since then, the program has turned more than 200,000 trees into mulch, with 19,000 trees mulched last year.


free christmas tree recycling


Ornaments, lights, and garland should all be removed before placing the tree in the Christmas tree corral.  The City is not able to accept decorations, tree lights, wreaths, garland, or household recyclable materials at these locations.

free Christmas_tree recycling



Trees should be dropped-off inside of the tree corrals set up at 25 locations. Crews will not be on hand to receive the trees so there will be no for rewards available for bringing in trees. Instead the reward for this effort will be helping the environment and keeping a massive amount of trees out of the waste stream and landfills. Also, because these sites are unmanned, on-the-spot mulching will not take place. However a limited amount of bagged mulch will be available at sites after January 11th.



Streets & Sanitation reminds those who plan to drop off their holiday tree to remove all decorations including lights, ornaments and tinsel. Not only would those items ruin the purity of the mulch that can be used as a ground cover on City landscaping projects or in residents back yards, but it could also damage our equipment.

Free mulch will be available for residents to pick-up beginning on January 3, at six designated locations.

“We encourage people to bring their holiday trees to designated park sites throughout the city and in return receive free mulch when available at select locations,” said Michael P. Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District.  “We value this environmentally beneficial partnership that encourages the public to become stewards of the environment.”




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Participating locations include:

(*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.

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


CLICK HERE for more information on Tree Recycling



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