How to Dispose of your Christmas Tree

Each year, about 25 to 30 million live Christmas trees are sold in the U.S., and now is the time when people start taking them down!

Many cities and counties offer curbside pickup, and you can find local schedules online.

Here are some of our local town’s recycling protocols.

NAPERVILLE:
Live Christmas trees will be collected on your regular garbage and recycling day during the weeks of Jan. 8 and 15, 2024. Trees should be placed at the curb for pickup on your normal garbage collection day and be free of tinsel, decorations, lights, etc.

AURORA:
Beginning Monday, January 9, real Christmas trees will be picked up for free during weekly trash and recycling collection. For two weeks – from Monday, January 9 through Friday, January 20 – no sticker is required for collection.
To be properly recycled, trees must be free of plastic bags, all decorations and tree stands, and placed at the curb by 6 a.m. on the normal collection day. After Friday, January 20, trees left at the curb on regular collection day must be stickered in order to be collected.
Due to the wire used to form them, wreaths and garlands will not be collected as recycling and must be stickered as trash.

JOLIET:
Set out in one piece if under five feet in length.
Cut the tree in half if it is longer than five feet.
Set the tree at your usual pick-up site on your regular pick-up day.
Be sure that there are no decorations on it
Trees will be collected until the last week in January

ELGIN:
Christmas Trees will be collected free of charge December 26 through January 15 from all residential households. Stickers are not required for Christmas trees during this period. All decorations, stands, etc. must be removed from trees in order to be collected. Do not place trees in plastic bags. Trees in plastic bags will not be collected. After January 15, each Christmas Tree will require one visibly affixed refuse sticker to be collected.
PLAINFIELD:
Waste Management will pick up live Christmas Trees and decorative greenery on your regular refuse collection day after the holiday. Please make sure that all ornaments, lights,  and tinsel are removed. Trees should be bundled properly and placed at the curb.  Larger trees must be cut so that each piece is four feet or shorter in length and width and tied with string, weighing 50 pounds or less. If you still have a live Christmas tree in Plainfield, sounds like you missed the boat! Better call Waste Management.
BOLINGBROOK:
Flood Brothers will provide a special free collection for Christmas trees the month of January.
ROMEOVILLE:
Be sure the tree is bare: no lights, ornaments, etc. Also, be sure the tree is cut down to 4 ft. or small8er. After that, just put the tree on the curb on your garbage pickup day. There is no cutoff date for Christmas tree pickup.
WEST CHICAGO:
The City offers free holiday tree collection each year with dates of collection varying each year. Trees need to be free of lights, garland, tinsel, etc. otherwise drivers will tag the tree and leave it for the following week.
If tree decorations are not removed by the second week’s collection, the customer will have to put a sticker on it and it would be picked up the following week as trash. Please do not put trees in plastic bags.
To find your town’s information, just Google ” (Your Town) Christmas Tree disposal” and it should pop up for you! You can also drop it off at a recycling center. Just Google your closest location!

There are more than 4,000 local Christmas tree recycling programs and most counties have free drop-off points.

Experts are reminding people that it’s never recommended to burn the wood from fresh trees in an indoor fireplace or woodstove, as the fresh sap can create a fire hazard.