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Recyling Your Real Christmas Tree

Are you wondering what to do with your fresh cut Christmas tree now that Christmas is over? How about recycling it? If you have a landscape recycling center or compost facility nearby, take it there and it will be converted into a renewable mulch  or compost. Before you recycle your tree, it must be undecorated - no ornaments or lights or tree stand.

In the Champaign County area, you have two choices for tree recycling: the Urbana Landscape Recycling Center and the Champaign County Forest Preserve District will take your undecorated trees at three of their preserves. For more information, call the Champaign County Forest Preserve at (217) 586-3360.

In the Macon County area, people can drop off their undecorated trees at the Macon County Composting Facility. For more information, call the Facility at (217) 425-4505.

Another option every year is the Christmas tree recycling effort at Lake Shelbyville, which is sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Iillinois Dept. of Natural Resources and area volunteers. The collected trees are used for fish breeding structures at the Lake. For more information on the Corps of Engineers fish habitat project, contact Cory Donnel at (217) 774-3951, ext 7001.

If you are the Do-It-Yourself type and want it recycle it on your own property, you have options as well.
  1. You can cut the branches off the tree and use them for mulch around perennials in your landscaping. The remaining trunk can be use for firewood in an OUTDOOR fire pit, or chipped for mulch.
  2. The undecorated tree can set up in the backyard and decorated with strings of popcorn or berries and suet to be used as a winter feeder for the birds.This is a great activity for families with children.
  3. If you are a landowner with a fishing pond, you can sink the undecorated tree as a breeding site for fish in your pond.
Give your old fresh cut Christmas tree a new use - recycle it. Don't put it in the landfill.