CHICAGO -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel is urging Chicago residents to participate in the city's annual Christmas tree recycling program.
Christmas trees can be recycled at various locations around the city starting Wednesday.
The goal of the citywide recycling effort is to keep help keep alleys clear and reduce the amount of materials deposited in landfills.
Trees dropped off at any of the 23 locations will be ground into mulch by the sanitation department and Chicago Park District forestry crews.
The resulting mulch will be made available to residents at no cost at the same Christmas tree drop-off locations beginning Jan. 11.
Officials says more than 157,700 trees have been kept out of landfills over the past two decades.