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2024 Holiday Tree Recycling in Chicago

If you buy a live Christmas tree, make a plan now to clean and recycle your tree by dropping it off at one of 26 Chicago Park District locations between January 6th and 20th during regular park hours. Be sure to remove all decorations beforehand. Leaving trees in Chicago's alleys is a absolute fire danger.

Why tree recycling is good for the planet 

Trees collected at the Holiday Tree Recycling events are turned into mulch. Mulching trees is far more earth-friendly than sending them to landfills. In landfills, rotting organic matter like plants, trees, and food release methane, a greenhouse gas that fuels climate change. By foregoing the landfill, your tree will instead benefit plants and soil at local parks and forests.

How to participate

Chicago's Tree Recycling Program runs from January 6th - 20th at 26 parks across the City. Trees can be dropped off anytime during normal park hours. 

Only live/natural trees without flocking are accepted. Garlands and wreaths are not accepted. Because the trees are turned into mulch, all tinsel, ornaments, lights, and stands must be removed. Plastic bags used for transport also need to be removed before putting trees into the stalls. Click here for all locations.

Six locations will also have free mulch available to residents on a first-come, first-served basis, starting Monday, January 8th: Lincoln Park, Margate Park, Mt. Greenwood Park, North Park Village, Warren Park, and the Forestry Site.



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