Looking to get rid of a Christmas tree in Chicago area? City, suburbs to set up recycling drop-offs

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Chicago-area Christmas tree recycling programs begin soon
The Chicago Christmas tree recycling program starts January 6. Here are details on how to recycle your holiday decorations in the city and suburbs.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With the end of the holiday season fast approaching, those who decorated their homes with a real tree this Christmas can plan where to drop it off to be recycled instead of sending it to a landfill.

Chicago and surrounding suburbs have tree recycling programs operating through January.


Residents can drop off real trees at one of 27 parks throughout the city from Jan. 6-20.

For more information, call 311 or visit recyclebycity.com/chicago for a full list of drop-off addresses. Only trees are accepted at the sites - no wreaths or garland.

Six locations - Lincoln Park, Margate Park, Mount Greenwood Park, North Park Village, Warren Park and the Forestry site - will have free mulch available for pickup on a limited basis beginning Jan. 10.

All trees must be free of ornaments, tinsel, lights or flocking. Plastic bags used for transport must be removed before placing trees in the stalls.

Chicago's Christmas tree recycling program was organized by the Department of Streets and Sanitation and the Chicago Park District in 1990.

The program recycled over 20,000 trees last year.

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Lake County (IL)

Lake County Forest Preserves will accept tree drop offs from 6:30 am to sunset daily, through February 1.

List of drop-off locations:

  • Grant Woods Forest Preserve, 25405 W. Monaville Road, Ingleside
  • Greenbelt Forest Preserve, 1110 Green Bay Road, North Chicago
  • Half Day Forest Preserve, 24255 Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills
  • Heron Creek Forest Preserve, 22890 N. Old McHenry Road, Lake Zurich
  • Lakewood Forest Preserve, 27277 Forest Preserve Road, Wauconda
  • Old School Forest Preserve, 28285 St. Mary's Road, Mettawa
  • Ryerson Conservation Area 21950 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods
  • Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve, 15838 W. Route 173, Wadsworth