City Cast

How to Recycle Holiday Decorations

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on January 5, 2022   |   Updated on May 29
A lone Christmas tree at a Chicago lot

A lone Christmas tree at a Chicago lot in 2020. (Scott Olson / Getty)

Christmas Trees

Feels like just yesterday I was telling you where to pick up your Christmas tree, and now I’m sharing how to get rid of it. One thing to know? Your live trees shouldn’t be wrapped in plastic or have ornaments, lights, etc.

The city’s holiday recycling program kicks off at 26 parks Saturday and runs until Jan. 22. Get free mulch from select dropoff spots Monday.

Home Depot accepts trees at some locations — check your local store.

WasteNot Compost is doing its annual tree pickup for members.

Suburban sanitation departments often pick up trees curbside.

Non-Working Holiday Lights

Don’t want to “leave the Christmas lights up til January?” If they’re broken, consider recycling them!

Reduce Waste Chicago
is accepting dropoffs through Jan. 31.

Suburban governments and orgs have various dropoff sites.

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