Approximately 35 million American families bring real Christmas trees into their homes each and every year, creating a warm and glowing part of their holiday celebration. Real Christmas trees are a recyclable and renewable resource. While growing, the trees stabilize the soil, protect water supplies and provide refuge for wildlife. In addition, one acre of typical holiday tree growth produces enough daily oxygen for 18 people. But when the holidays are over, when the wrapping paper has been carefully folded and put away for reuse next year, after the ornaments have been rewrapped in last years tissues and repacked in the plastic storage box that never wears out, there stands the lonely tree, starting to drop its needles and badly in need of removal.
Although Christmas trees are not legally banned from landfills, it doesn’t make sense to send them there to be entombed forever.
But, what do you do with a Christmas tree when it stops being a Christmas tree? You recycle it, of course.
The City of Rockford offers curbside tree pickup for residents. For those outside of Rockford or living in apartments or condos, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful offers 13 collection sites (shown on map below) in Winnebago County for you to bring your tree between January 1 and 15.
Each year Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful collects in excess of 36,000 Christmas trees after they have done their initial service, and we put them to further use. Trees are turned into mulch which is then made available, first come first served, to local residents for use in their gardens. Since 1988, we have collected and processed over one half million trees.
Pine mulch is excellent for use with acid-loving plants such as roses, lilacs, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and evergreens. Other uses include ground cover for walkways and fence rows. This mulch is available to local residents and small business owners at no charge. You are encouraged to gather as much free mulch as you can personally use at your home or business. Bring your own shovels and bags for transporting. All mulch must be off the ground by March 1st, but it usually doesn’t last that long. The early bird gets the mulch.
When bringing your tree to one of the 13 sites listed here be sure that you remove the stand and all ornaments. No wreaths can be accepted as they are held together with a wire frame which will destroy the mulching machines. If you transport your tree in a plastic tree bag (to keep the needles from messing up the house), be sure to remove the bag as it is NOT recyclable. You could also use an old sheet, wrap it around the tree to remove from the house and transport it then remove the sheet and take it home for further use.
Wreaths are not accepted due to wire frames.
SITES AVAILABLE TO DROP OFF TREES AND PICK UP MULCH IN WINNEBAGO COUNTYLast Update: 09/04/13
|Don Schmid Youth Sports Cetner|
|Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve|
|Valley View Farm|
|Rockton Boat Ramp Parking Lot|
|Williams Tree Farm|
|Machesney Park Village Hall|
|View rockford in a larger map|