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Christmas tree being recycled
Photograph: Shutterstock

Where to recycle your Christmas tree in Chicago

The city's recycling program makes it easy to turn your tree into mulch.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long
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Christmas has come and gone and if you decided to get a live tree this year, you may have already started considering what the best way to dispose of it is. While it's technically possible to put your tree in the alley with the rest of your garbage (the city's trash service will pick it up... eventually), there's a more environmentally friendly way to dispose of your Christmas tree when you're ready to leave the holiday season behind.

Today, the city announced the details of its 2021 Christmas tree recycling program, which collects trees for composting from January 9–23 in parks throughout the city. Before you cart your tree to a recycling site, you'll need to make sure that it's stripped of any ornaments, tinsel, lights or other decorations—only bare trees are accepted for recycling. You'll be able to drop off your tree whenever participating parks are open to the public (see the Chicago Park District website for exact hours).

Beginning on January 12, mulch created from recycled Christmas trees will be made available on a first come, first served basis at Lincoln Park, Margate Park, Mt. Greenwood Park, North Park Village, Warren Park and the Forestry Site.

Check out the complete list of parks where you can drop off your Christmas tree below. Last year, Chicagoans recycled more than 17,000 trees—here's hoping that this year's numbers are even higher!

  • Bessemer Park, 8930 S. Muskegon Ave.
  • Clark Park, 3400 N. Rockwell St.
  • Forestry Site, 900 E. 103rd St.
  • Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
  • Grant Park, 900 S. Columbus Dr.
  • Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1369 N. Sacramento Ave.
  • Jackson Park, 6300 S. Cornell Ave.
  • Kennedy Park, 2427 W. 113th St.
  • Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.
  • Lake Meadows Park, 3117 S. Rhodes Ave.
  • Lincoln Park, Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Ave. (East of Cannon Dr.)
  • Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Dr.
  • Marquette Park, 6700 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
  • Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.
  • 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.
  • Rowan Park, 11546 S. Avenue L
  • Sheridan Park, 910 S. Aberdeen St.
  • Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland
  • Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave.
  • Wentworth Park, 5701 S. Narragansett Ave.
  • West Chatham Park, 8223 S. Princeton

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