Free Christmas Tree Recycling and FREE Mulch in Chicago

Beginning on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, Chicagoans will be able to drop off their used, real holiday trees for free Christmas tree recycling at any one of 24 sites through Saturday, January 21, 2017.     Trees dropped off at any of the 24 locations will be ground into FREE fragrant mulch by DSS and Chicago Park District forestry crews.   A few locations will offer free mulch — made from the trees — to interested residents.    “The City’s Christmas tree recycling program is an easy and environmentally-friendly alternative for residents to dispose of their trees,” Emanuel said in the statement.    “Each year through the Christmas tree recycling program, we are able to divert thousands of Christmas trees away from landfills for re-use in our community,” Emanuel said.    The city said more than 19,000 trees were mulched in January 2016.


Christmas-tree-recycling CHICAGO


Residents should not throw away the tree, but instead take it to one of 24 recycling locations throughout the city.

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

Lights and ornaments should be removed. Wreaths and garlands will not be accepted.  For more information, visit




Free mulch will be available for residents to pick-up beginning on January 3, at six designated locations produced from recycled Christmas trees:

  • Bureau of Forestry, 900 East 103rd Street (North East corner of property).

  • Lincoln Park, Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Ave. (Parking lot east of Cannon Dr.)

  • Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Dr.

  • Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.

  • North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.

  • Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Avenue



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.     Since the program began 24 years ago, more than 157,700 trees have been kept out of landfills.  More than 14,300 trees were recycled last year alone.

free Christmas_tree recycling

Trees should be dropped-off inside of the tree corrals set up at 23 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.



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