Christmas Tree Recycling

Each holiday season the US spends over $1 billion dollars on fresh-cut trees. They brighten our homes, infuse the air with merriment, and after a few days or weeks, out they go. 

Enter Chicago's Christmas Tree Recycling program. The benefits of recycling/mulching trees are twofold: nutrients from the trees are preserved and given back to the soil, while tons of valuable organic material is diverted from landfills. 

Participate from Jan. 6th-20th, 2018

Chicago's 2018 Tree Recycling Program runs from January 6th through the 20th 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. 

The mulch that's created from the Christmas Tree Recycling program is used in local parks to protect and nourish plants and soil. Mulch will also be made available to Chicago residents, free of charge, starting Jan. 8th, at six park locations. 

2018 Tree Recycling Locations 

Twenty-five parks citywide are hosting Tree Recycling events this year. Trees can be dropped off anytime during normal business hours. The following locations will also provide free mulch on a first come, first served basis, starting January 8th: Lincoln Park, Margate Park, Mt. Greenwood Park, North Park Village, Warren Park, and the Forestry Site. 

Star = mulch available (beginning Jan 8) 


Pick Up Service 

Healthy Soil Compost, a Chicago composting service, is offering Christmas Tree pickups across the City, starting Sunday, Dec. 30th. They plan on picking up trees till Jan 13th, but will slide the end date if the current demand keeps up. The cost is $35 for current Healthy Soil Compost members,  $45 for non-members. For additional trees at the same location, the cost is just $15 so it can pay off to get the neighbors onboard - in more ways than one.

Contact Healthy Soil Compost by phone 312.927.4778 or email for service. 

Ten percent of the proceeds from Healthy Soil Compost's tree pickups will be donated to support Zero Waste Chicago, a local do-good non-profit, dedicated to reducing waste. 

Onward and Upward

In 2017, Christmas tree recycling was more popular than ever with over 21,000 trees recycled (up from 19,653 in 2016!) Those efforts diverted an estimated 700,000 pounds from landfills and gave our soil some love instead. Way to be, Chicago!

Help spread the word about the program and consider taking g a neighbor's tree along if you have space. Let's make 2018 the program's most successful year yet!


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sources:
Healthy Soil Compost
National Christmas Tree Association
City of Chicago 
Chicago Park District 

Updated: Jan 2, 2018

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