How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas TreesWhere and How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas Trees in Illinois after Christmas in January 2021

How to Recycle or Dispose of Christmas Trees

In many urban and suburban areas, Christmas trees are collected from curbside during the first 2 weeks in January. Be sure to remove all remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands, other NON-Organic decorative materials and other materials that are not part of the original tree. This includes tree stands also. Flocked trees are usually accepted, but not artificial trees. Large trees (larger than the standard 6 - 7 ft tree) may need to be cut in half to be acceptable by your garbage hauler. But scrroll down this page for more specific information and local links.

What happens to the trees? In most cases, the trees are chipped and made into a mulch which is usually made available, free to city or county residents. Important: Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove. Burning the tree may contribute to creosote buildup and could cause a chimney fire.

Tips: Always follow the links (usually the name of the city or county) below for updated information, as these agencies often wait until the last minute to change dates or update their information (it's government, remember?). If your area is Grinding Christmas trees into mulchnot specifically mentioned below, contact your trash collection agency and inquire!

Related information:

See this page for local options to easily recycle your Christmas holiday lights

If it has just snowed; see this page about how to make snocones from real snow! Your kids will love it!

Click here for the list of winter sleigh ride locations!

See our easy recipes to make a Chocolate Yule log and click here to make your own low-fat, low calorie but delicious Egg Nog ! Then come back to our other website in March to find a local Easter Egg Hunt for your children ! There are affiliate links on this page. Read our disclosure policy to learn more.

Illinois: Where and How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays January 2021

Illinois (out side of the Chicago area) Christmas Tree Recycling

For Chicago, click here !

Areas outside of Chicago

  • Kane County Christmas Tree Recycling. You can drop trees off at the following locations:
    Advanced Disposal (Veolia) Transfer Station, 766 Hunter Drive (corner of Hubbard & Hunter), Batavia, IL 60510. Phone: 630-879-3587. Hours: Monday to Friday 6am to 5 pm, Sat 6 am to 10am. Please remove all decorations, tinsel, lights, etc. Cost: $15. Note: Special Saturday drop-off, 6 am to 10am, $25 for a load of mixed material, equivalent to a pick-up truck level bed full, can include a tree for no extra cost.
    Midwest Compost; 1320 Spaulding Rd. in Elgin, IL 60120. Phone: 847-931-2900. Hours: Monday to Friday, 7 am to 4pm. Please remove all decorations, tinsel, lights, and plastic bags used for transporting. Closed Christmas and New Year's day. Cost: $10.
  • Algonquin - Groot will collect Christmas trees at no charge on your normal collection day throughout the month of January. In order for a tree to be collected, it must be placed at the curb or the end of your driveway by 7:00 am on your scheduled collection day. All lights and decorations must be removed. Trees should not be placed in plastic bags, and any trees over six (6) feet tall should be cut in half so one person can handle them. Also, trees should be placed on top of the snow. Trees buried under snow could result in Groot not collecting them. Please contact Groot Customer Service at 1-800-244-1977 with any refuse or recycling inquiries.Also The Algonquin Township 3702 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake (847) 639-2700, will have Christmas tree recycling available from December 28 through January. 22, 2021. The drop off will be available from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Gates are locked at 3 p.m.). The drop-off site is closed on Saturday and Sunday and will also be closed on Dec. 30, 31 and Jan. 18, 2021.
    Open to Algonquin Township residents:
  • Aurora - Groot will collect Christmas trees during the first and second full weeks of January. Trees must be free of plastic bags, all decorations (including tinsel) and tree stands, and be placed at the curb on your normal collection day. Due to the wire used to form them, wreaths and garlands will not be collected as recycling and must be stickered as trash.. To be properly recycled, trees must be free of plastic bags, all decorations (including tinsel) and tree stands, and be placed at the curb by 6 am on the normal collection day. Please note that due to the wire used to form them, wreaths and garlands will not be collected as recycling and must be stickered as trash. After these 2 weeks, trees left at the curb on regular collection day must be stickered in order to be collected. .If you have any questions, please contact our office at 630-892-0246.
  • Aurora Township (unincorporated areas) - The Aurora Township Highway Department will be initiating a Christmas tree and wreath pick up service this year for unincorporated Aurora Township residents only. Christmas Tree Recycling beginning January 3rd. The undecorated tree and wreath pick up will be Weather permitting. No bags or plastic of any kind and please put the cut end toward the street. Additionally, the ATHD will accept Christmas tree and wreath drop offs (no bags or plastic) from any Aurora Township resident at our facility at 220 Butterfield Road. The drop off times are weekdays, 8 am until 3 pm, between January 3 and January 9. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 630-892-0246..
  • Batavia - Advanced Disposal (which has been acquired by Waste Management) will be picking up live Christmas trees on residents' regular collection dates during the two weeks after Christmas without a sticker. Residents do not have to use a sticker for Christmas tree removal on these dates only. After these dates, residents should attach a refuse sticker to the tree and place it at the curb on their regular collection date. All materials such as plastic bags, ornaments, lights, nails, etc. should be removed from the trees. Live wreaths and garland should be placed in your regular refuse. Advanced Disposal will be picking up live Christmas trees on residents' regular collection dates. Residents do not have to use a sticker for Christmas tree removal on these dates only. After these dates, residents should attach a refuse sticker to the tree and place it at the curb on their regular collection date. All materials such as plastic bags, ornaments, lights, nails, etc. should be removed from the trees. Live wreaths and garland should be placed in your regular refuse.
  • Bloomington - Christmas trees can be placed at the curb for collection. Trees must have all lights, ornaments, tree stands and bags removed. Trees will be collected from residential properties only. If you have any questions, please contact the Public Works office at 434-2225 or by e-mail to publicworks@cityblm.org. You may also visit our City's webpage.
  • Champaign - Christmas Tree Recycling and Collection Program. The City of Champaign offers two convenient options to recycle your Christmas/Holiday tree in January.
    The City's Holiday Tree Collection Program is available to all residential properties within the City's corporate limits. City residents must place their tree within four feet of the curb by 6 a.m. on Monday, January 11, 2021, for collection. Collected trees are chipped and made into garden mulch. Trees with stands, decorations, tinsel, lights, artificial snow/frost, plastic bags, or any other materials that make the trees non-recyclable will not be collected. Please note that the Holiday trees will not be collected by zone. Residents may take trees to the Landscape Recycling Center during the months of January and February for free disposal.
    Free Collection: City residents must place their tree within four feet of the curb by 6 am on Monday, January 11, 2021, for collection. Collected trees are chipped and made into garden mulch. Trees with stands, decorations, tinsel, lights, artificial snow/frost, plastic bags, or any other materials that makes the trees non-recyclable will not be collected. PLEASE NOTE THAT HOLIDAY TREES WILL NOT BE COLLECTED BY ZONE.
    Free Disposal: Residents may take trees to the Landscape Recycling Center at 1210 E. University Avenue in Urbana during the months of January and February for free disposal. Call 217-344-5323 for hours and details.
  • Dundee Township - Dundee Township Highway Commission recycles trees. Bring your tree (all decorations removed) to the Township Garage at 1900 Sleepy Hollow Road (at Rt 72) December 25th through January 14th. The trees can be dropped off anytime. There are signs showing where to drop them off. We do not pick up any trees and the trees have to have all decorations removed. Call Highway Commissioner Larry Braasch at 847-426-0898 for more information.
  • East Dundee - Holiday greenery must have all tinsel, ornaments, lights and nails removed before being placed out at the curb for pick-up and cannot be placed in plastic bags. Holiday greenery collection is FREE the FIRST TWO WEEKS in January.
  • City of Elgin - Christmas Trees will be collected free of charge December 26 through the second week in January from all residential households. Stickers are not required for Christmas trees during this period. All decorations, stands, etc. must be removed from trees in order to be collected. Do not place trees in plastic bags. Trees in plastic bags will not be collected. After this time, each Christmas Tree will require one visibly affixed refuse sticker to be collected. Yard waste collection services (except Christmas Trees), are not provided to condominium and townhome units.
  • Geneva - The Public Works Department has scheduled a citywide collection of discarded live Christmas trees Lakeshore Recycling Systems, the City's waste hauler, will be picking up live Christmas trees this January in Geneva. Residents must set trees out with their trash and recycling the first two full weeks in January; in 2021, that's the weeks of January 4, 2021 and January 11, 2021. Live Christmas trees will be collected on residents' normal garbage pickup day. No refuse sticker is needed on these weeks. Residents must place the trees outside with their trash no later than 7 a.m. on their scheduled refuse pickup day. In order to ensure the timeliness and the integrity of the schedule, crews will not return for special pickups. Once the street has been completed, trees will not be collected until the following week. Other Important Info:
    Please remove all hard materials from the tree prior to disposal, including ornaments, nails,
    stands, etc.
    All wreaths and roping must be included with normal trash on residents' normal collection dayPlease remove all hard materials, ornaments, nails, stands, etc. from the trees. All wreaths and roping must be include with normal trash on your scheduled refuse collection day.
  • Gilberts - The Village of Gilberts' Waste Hauler (MDC) shall pickup discarded Christmas trees place on the curbside on the resident's normal pickup day after the Christmas holidays until January 31st.
  • Kane County, IL - The county has a list of towns (most already included on this page) that have curbside pickup and drop-off locations.
  • Madison County, IL - Only a few towns have curbside pickup (East Alton, Hartford and Wood River Township); in the others, you drop your tree off for recycling.
    Click here for the Madison County, IL 31 drop-off sites for live Christmas trees. Drop-off locations are also available in St. Clair, Clinton and Monroe, For recycling questions see Building & Zoning Department at 618.296.6647 or email sustainability@co.madison.il.us.
  • Maple Park - Christmas trees will be picked up on the resident's service day beginning after December 25th. Pickup will continue through the month of January. Trees must be free of all decorations. Trees must not be in plastic bags. Trees over 7 feet must be cut in half.
  • McHenry County, Illinois - Open to all McHenry County residents. For details please call 815-338-1060. For additional information, please contact Kristy:
    1. McHenry County Conservation District
    from December 26 - January 15 at these 3 Drop-off Sites:
    Glacial Park, Ringwood, IL (off Harts Rd.)
    Rush Creek, Harvard, IL (at Twin Oaks Parking Area west of pond)
    The Algonquin Township 3702 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake (847) 639-2700, will have Christmas tree recycling available from Dec. 28 through Jan. 22. The drop off will be available from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Gates are locked at 3 p.m.). The drop-off site is closed on Saturday and Sunday and will also be closed on Dec. 30, 31 and Jan. 18.
    Open to Algonquin Township residents:
    2. Algonquin Township Road District
    3702 U.S. Hwy. 14, Crystal Lake, IL
    December 26 - January 31
    Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    For details please call 847-639-2700, ext. 6
    Open to Dorr Township residents:
    3. Dorr Township Road District
    12322 Davis Road, Woodstock, IL
    December 26 - January 31
    Monday through Friday during business hours 7:00 am to 3:30 pm
  • Montgomery - Allied Waste will collect Christmas trees during the first and second full week of January . Trees must be free of plastic bags, all decorations (including tinsel) and tree stands, and be placed at the curb by 6:00 am on your normal collection day. No stickers are required.
  • Naperville, IL - Live Christmas tree collection takes place the first two full weeks of January each year. Trees should be placed at the curb for pickup on your normal garbage collection day and be free of tinsel, decorations, lights, etc. All questions or concerns regarding garbage collection, a missed pickup, or special pickup of bulk items, construction materials and appliances should be directed to Groot Industries at (630) 892-9294 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  • Peoria, Illinois - City of Peoria encourages residents to recycle Christmas trees. Live trees will be accepted at the various drop-off locations from December 26, 2020 to January 1, 2021. Remember to remove tree stands, decorations, hooks and lights. Artificial trees or wreaths will not be accepted. Please do not drop off your tree at city parks and vacant lots or leave trees on the curbside. View/Download Christmas Tree Recycling Locations (PDF)
  • Rockford Illinois Area - In years past, during the first 2 weeks of the year, trees should be placed alongside resident's regular garbage and must be free of all ornaments, stands, lights, and other decorative materials. Trees that exceed four feet in height should be cut in half.
    Last year there were Christmas tree drop off locations from Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, which has arranged 13 collection sites in Winnebago County for you to drop off your tree from January 1 - 15. Site times may vary. Parks are generally open dawn-dusk. Wreaths are not accepted due to wire frames. Drop-off Trees January 1 thru 15. Mulch available while it lasts, until cleared - by March 1st The trees will be chipped beginning on January 15th and the mulch produced is free for residents to take (please bring your container) through the end of February or until the supply is depleted. Christmas Tree Recycling conserves landfill space, returns nutrients to the earth, beautifies landscapes and provides free mulch for gardening. NOTE: Unfortunately, Keep Illinois Beautiful has NOTHING on their website about where or how to recycle Christmas trees this year - if you know, write me!
  • South Elgin - Allied Waste/Republic Services will pick up Christmas trees through January 17th on normally scheduled refuse days. All decorations should be removed before placing the tree at curbside.
  • Springfield, IL - Department of Public Works crews will collect natural fir and evergreen trees for two weeks in January. Residents are encouraged to put the trees on the curb by 7 am after New Year's day January 2nd. If you have questions about this program, contact the City's Office of Public Works at 217.789.2255. The trees should not be put in the way of traffic. There are other rules to follow: No flocking, ornaments, tinsel or other decorations can be on the trees. Wooden tree stands must be removed, and garlands and wreaths with wire Waste won't be accepted. Residents also can drop off trees and branches from 7 am to 3 pm. Monday through Saturday at the public works facility, 301 N. 17th St.
    Drop-off: The City of Springfield Yardwaste Recycling Center (YRC) takes residential Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands and other live decorations for no charge between December 26 and January 31. The trees are ground into wood chip mulch that can be purchased at the YRC and Lone Pine recycling centers. Remove tree stands, decorations, wiring and twine. No flocked trees are accepted. Questions call the City's Recycling Hotline at 864-1904.
    Yardwaste Recycling Center, 3790 South Farm Road 119, Brookline.
    A few other locations will take Christmas trees, some for a donation to help the Boy Scouts. See this 2020 news story
    Electric String Christmas lights can be recycled for no charge at AAA Certified Computer Recycling Center (528 N. Prince Lane) and Complete Electronics Recycling (2935 W. Chestnut Expy.).
  • St. Charles - Christmas trees will be picked up during the first two full weeks of January. Trees will be picked up on BOTH sides of the river on the regular scheduled refuse day. After this two-week period, a sticker will be required. Trees are NOT to be placed in disposal bags. Residents should note that all decorations, including tinsel, must be removed. For more information, contact the Public Works Department at 630-377-4405 or pw@stcharlesil.gov .
  • Pingree Grove/ Flood Brothers - Christmas Trees will be collected for the first three weeks of January at no charge. During this free three week collection period, trees must be free of all decorations and cannot be in plastic bags. After the three week collection period, Christmas trees will be considered a Bulk Item. (Bulk items will be collected at no extra cost up to seven items each calendar year. Charge after allowed seven will be $8.60 per item)
  • Urbana - the first full week in January each year. The City of Urbana will provide holiday tree collection to all residents for 1 week this holiday season: The City of Urbana will provide Christmas tree collection to all residents for one week this holiday season:
    the first Full week in January. Questions may be directed to U-Cycle at (217) 384-2302. Residents must follow these requirements:
    Place tree along curb (on the parkway) by 6:00 am on your regular U-Cycle collection day
    Remove all decorations, lights, tree bags and stands from tree before collection
    Trees that are flocked or have tinsel are not accepted! No artificial trees accepted.
    Trees may be taken to the Landscape Recycling Center at 1210 E. University Ave., Urbana, for FREE recycling
    Trees may also be taken to the Landscape Recycling Center located at 1210 E. University Ave, Urbana, for FREE recycling. The Landscape Recycling Center may be contacted at (217) 344-5323.
    Questions? Please call (217) 384-2416. Jason Arrasmith jlarrasmith@urbanaillinois.us. (217) 384-2416
  • West Dundee - Free curbside Christmas tree collections are available along with regular refuse collection during the first two full weeks in January each year, for residential properties with no more than 3 units. Trees must be stripped of all decorations and placed at the curb with the cut end facing the street. Trees do not have to be cut up, bundled or placed in yard waste bags. Trees/greenery in plastic bags, wrapped in plastic or covered with artificial snow cannot be accepted. Garlands and wreaths must be disassembled, and the organic portion placed in a yard waste bag. If you live in a building with more than three units, contact your building owner or refuse hauler regarding the disposal of your tree, or recycle it with the Dundee Township Highway Dept..
  • Will County - Christmas Tree Recycling. Check with your municipality to see if trees are collected curbside for recycling and composting.
  • Winnebago County, IL - 13 collection sites in Winnebago County for you to drop off your tree from January 1 - 15. Site times may vary. Parks are generally open dawn-dusk. Wreaths are not accepted due to wire frames. Drop-off Trees January 1 thru 15. Mulch available while it lasts, until cleared - by March 1st Click here for locations, updated information and more details. NOTE: Unfortunately, Keep Illinois Beautiful has NOTHING on their website about where or how to recycle Christmas trees this year - if you know, write me!
  • Woodstock, IL - The Department of Public Works will collect and mulch Christmas trees from Jan. 4 to Jan. 29. Residents must have their Christmas tree in the parkway by 7 a.m. on their regularly scheduled garbage day to have them collected. "Please remove all of the decorations from trees and do not leave it in a plastic tree bag," said MCDH Environmental Health Solid Waste Manager Kelli Boeckmann. "Also remember that if you have an artificial Christmas tree that you might be done using and it is still in good condition, it can be donated locally." Call 815-338-6118, Public Works for additional information)