Christmas is over, meaning about 35 million Americans who purchased real trees for the holidays are now watching their investment transform into a large toothpick. The next destination for about 23.1 million of those trees, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, is recycling through a local community program.
The trees are used for chipping that goes on hiking trails, erosion prevention, shoreline stabilization and other ecological projects.
Here is a list of local tree recycling options:
Waste Management will offer free curbside collection Jan. 1 to 17 for existing residential customers. Trees must be cut in half if taller than 6 feet. All tinsel and decorations must be removed. Trees cannot be bagged.
The city will collect trees the week of Jan. 6. Trees must be free of plastic bags, all decorations, and be placed at the curb on your normal collection day. Wreaths and garlands must be placed outside for collection with garbage stickers.
The highway department will collect trees and wreaths Jan. 6. No bags or plastic of any kind will be collected. The cut end of the trees should face the street. Trees can also be dropped off at 220 Butterfield Road from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekdays, Jan. 2 to 10.
Advanced Disposal will pick up trees on regular collection dates. Residents do not have to use a sticker if placed outside on the dates below. After these dates, residents should affix a refuse/yard waste sticker to the tree and place it at the curb on their regular collection date. All plastic bags, ornaments, lights, nails, etc. should be removed. Live wreaths and garland should be placed with regular refuse.
Collection will occur on:
South Side (Wilson to the south between Kirk/Randall): Jan. 8 and 15.
North Side (north of Wilson to Fabyan between Kirk/Randall): Jan. 9 and 16.
Far West Side (Randall west to city limits): Jan. 10 and 17.
The highway commission is accepting trees on a drop-off basis only at the township garage, 1900 Sleepy Hollow Road, anytime through Jan. 15.
Holiday greenery must be bare and will be collected the first two weeks in January.
Plain trees will be picked up curbside by Waste Management the first two pickup days in January.
Plain trees will be collected Dec. 30 to Jan. 17 from residential households. Stickers are not required. After Jan. 17, each tree will require a refuse sticker to be collected.
Trees will be picked up by a waste hauler the second and third weeks in January. No sticker is required.
Recycling is available the first two weeks in January for all residential units in Sun City with trees free of tinsel and decorations. Trees can be a maximum of 6 feet tall. Residents can also bring their tree to Sun Valley Farm at Betsey Warrington Park by Jan. 31.
The village's waste hauler will pick up trees placed on the curb on the residents' normal pickup day through Jan. 31.
Trees will be picked up on the resident's service day through January. No decorations nor plastic bags.
Non-decorated trees will be collected curbside on normal refuse days.
Trees will be picked up the weeks of Jan. 6 and 13 on normal refuse days with no stickers required. After Jan. 13, stickers are required. No decorations. Wreaths and garland will not be picked up.
Plain trees will be collected the first three weeks of January.
Free collections are scheduled Jan. 5 and 11 for those households receiving regular refuse collection. Plain trees must be placed at the curb with the cut end facing the street. No plastic bags accepted. Trees or greenery covered with artificial snow will not be accepted. Garlands and wreaths must be disassembled. The organic portion should be placed in a yard waste bag while the rest is discarded as refuse. If you live in a
building with more than three units, contact your building owner or refuse hauler regarding disposal.
Don't want to wait or missed your collection date? There are two drop-off locations accepting trees for a fee:
• Advanced Disposal Transfer Station:
766 Hunter Drive (corner of Hubbard and Hunter), Batavia. (630) 879-3587.
Hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 6 to 10 a.m. Saturday.
Specifications: No decorations. $15 fee.
A special Saturday drop-off can include a load of mixed material, equivalent to a full pickup truck bed, which can include a tree, costs $25.
• Midwest Compost
1320 Spaulding Road, Elgin. (847) 931-2900
Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Closed New Year's Day.
Specifications: No decorations. $10 fee.