Don't be so quick to chuck that Christmas tree into the dumpster, the City of Chicago is offering a greener alternative.
"Recycling Christmas trees is an easy way for residents to make a big impact on the environment," stated Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a press release. "Each year, we are able to recycle thousands of Christmas trees to divert more waste away from landfills and reuse the materials in an environmentally-friendly way."
Starting Jan. 5 and lasting through Jan. 18, Chicago residents can take their trees to one of the 23 participating sites, according to the City of Chicago website.
The trees will be chipped and made into mulch by the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation and Chicago Park District forestry crews. The mulch will be made available for free to residents at the same Christmas tree drop-off locations beginning Friday, January 11.
Ornaments, lights, and stands should all be removed before dropping off your tree. The city is not able to accept decorations or tree lights, wreaths, garland, or household recyclable materials at these locations.
More than 157,000 trees have been kept out of landfills since the program began 24 years ago.
Below are the drop-off locations:
- Clark Park, 3400 N. Rockwell St.
- Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.
- Lincoln Park, Cannon Drive at Fullerton Ave.
- Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Dr.
- 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.
- Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave.
- Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
- Grant Park, 900 S. Columbus Drive
- Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1369 N. Sacramento Ave.
- Sheridan Park, 910 S. Aberdeen St.
- Bessemer Park, 8930 S. Muskegon Ave.
- Forestry Site, 900 E. 103rd St.
- Jackson Park, 6300 S. Cornell Ave.
- Kennedy Park, 2427 W. 113th St.
- Lake Meadows Park, 6700 S. Kedzie Ave., near the golf course
- Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.
- McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Road
- Rowan Park, 11546 S. Avenue L
- Wentworth Park, 5701 S. Narragansett Ave.