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Forest Preserve no longer accepts Christmas trees for recycling



Photo for: Forest Preserve no longer accepts Christmas trees for recycling

The Forest Preserve District is no longer accepting Christmas trees for recycling, so dropping trees off at a preserve or visitor center is not allowed.

However, Will County Green has some good ideas about what you can do with trees now that the holidays have concluded.

According to the agency, you should remove the ornaments from your tree then use a blanket to get the tree outside without making a mess inside. Other tips include:

  • Trees can be used in backyard ponds as refuge and feeding areas for fish.
  • Cut pieces off of the old tree to use as decorations or ornaments next year. "Thin slices of the trunk create a blank canvas that can be decorated and then strung with a piece of ribbon."
  • Use your tree as an organic feeder and sanctuary for birds. "Place pinecones filled with peanut butter and birdseed in the branches along with strung popcorn and fresh orange slices. The birds will appreciate the food, and you can enjoy some great winter bird-watching from your window."
  • Create coasters by cutting disks from the tree trunk. 
  • Chip up your tree to create mulch for your spring garden. "You can also place entire branches under trees and shrubs as temporary winter mulch."

If none of these options will work for you, Iron Oaks Environmental Learning Center will accept trees at its parking lot, 2453 Vollmer Road, Olympia Fields, as part of a Christmas Tree and Holiday Lights Recycling Program. Trees can be dropped off through January 18.

Also, a Community Christmas Tree drop off event is set for 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, January 6, at Iron Oaks. The event will feature refreshments, a warm fire and assistance for those who need help removing trees from their vehicles.

Finally, you can contact your waste hauler to inquire about programs for tree removal and recycling.

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