Beginning on Wednesday, January 6, 2020, Chicagoans will be able to drop off their used, real holiday trees for free Christmas tree recycling at any one of 25 drop-off sites through Wednesday, January 18, 2020. 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. 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.
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.
Starting on 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.