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2021 Christmas Tree Recycling

NOTE: This article has been archived and may not be up to date.

There's something undeniably romantic about a real Christmas tree. The scent, the falling needles, the way they light up our homes, infuse the air with merriment for a few short weeks then away they go. But where do they go? 

Here's where we get to make a choice:  we can send them to the landfill, or let them become mulch that will enrich and protect the soil at Chicago's beloved parks and forests.    

If you decide on the mulch option, then Chicago's Christmas Tree Recycling program is for you.  Turning your tree into mulch benefits the earth by making the soil friendlier for new trees to grow.  It also reduces waste going to landfill. 

Participate from Jan. 9th - 23rd, 2021

Chicago's 2021 Tree Recycling Program runs from January 9th through the 23rd at dozens of parks across the City. 

Only live/natural trees without flocking are accepted (no garland or wreaths). Because the trees are mulched, all tinsel, ornaments, lights, and stands must be removed. Plastic bags used for transport should also be removed before putting trees in the stalls. 

2021 Tree Recycling Locations 

Twenty-five parks citywide are hosting Tree Recycling events this year. Trees can be dropped off anytime during normal business hours.  

Six locations (starred on the map) will also provide free mulch on a first-come, first-served basis, starting January 12th: Lincoln Park, Margate Park, Mt. Greenwood Park, North Park Village, Warren Park, and the Forestry Site. 

*Star = mulch available (beginning Jan. 12) 

  • 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

Onward and Upward

In 2019, over 17,000 Christmas trees were composted, just through the City's program. Those efforts diverted an estimated 620,000 pounds from landfills and gave our soil some love instead. Way to be, Chicago!  

Help spread the word about the Tree recycling program and consider taking g a neighbor's tree along if you have space.  Let's make this year the program's most successful year yet!

You might also enjoy:

National Christmas Tree Association
City of Chicago 
Chicago Park District 

Updated: Dec 07, 2020



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