27 drop off locations across city
CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's a bad day to be a Christmas tree in Chicago.
Many are making their way through the wood chipper as the city officially kicked off its annual Holiday Tree Recycling program on Saturday.
"The newer generation and up and coming generation is very environmentally conscious and I think the message is getting out," said Dept. of Streets and Sanitation Deputy Commissioner Malcom Whiteside.
Tree recycling helps the city to divert material from the waste stream and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said Whiteside.
In Lincoln Park, mountains of trees were shredded amid a winter wonderland.
According to Whiteside, the city has recycled Christmas trees for the past 34 years, helping keep Chicago just a bit cleaner.
He said thousands of trees are recycled each year by residents.
"Our biggest year, I think we two years ago. We had 21 thousand trees, so every year we are trying to top that number," said Whiteside.
Residents can drop off their Christmas trees at over two dozen locations across the city, as well as pick up a free bag of mulch at some locations.
The city says that mulch is also used for local parks and forests.
Chris Johnson of Lakeview said he's recycling his tree with the city for the very first time.
" I was just looking for a better way to recycle it other than throwing it away in the alley and having the disposal man come pick it up," said Johnson.
Others have helped recycle trees for years, encouraging other residents to do the same.
"It goes back to parks and forests so I think that's better than just dumping on the ground or in the garbage," said Bustamante.
The city said residents can recycle their Christmas trees until January 20.