Before my family made the switch to an artificial tree a few years back, we always took advantage of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful's (KNIB) drop-off spots.

The Christmas tree recycling centers are a great fit for us because first off, Christmas trees are not picked up for disposal in my neighborhood, and my neighbors were getting a little cranky about our traditional January "toss the tree over the backyard fence" parties.

And secondly, we would stop by the recycling sites later to grab some free freshly-ground mulch for our landscaping. Since 1988, more than 750,000 trees have been collected and processed into tons of reusable mulch. Everybody wins.

Here are this year's locations:

  • Belvidere, Boone County: City of Belvidere Street Department, 515 W. Locust Street, Mon-Fri 7 am - 3:30 pm Cherry Valley: Baumann Park, 300 South Walnut, daylight hours.
  • Loves Park: Martin Park, 5600 Park Ridge Road, northeast parking lot, south of Riverside Boulevard.
  • Rockford: Alpine Park, 950 South Alpine Road; Andrews Park, 800 North Central Ave; Gambino Park, 4421 Pepper Drive - west of North Alpine Road; Levings Lake, 1420 South Pierpont Avenue – East entrance off South Johnston Avenue at Montague; Sandy Hollow Golf Course, 2670 Sandy Hollow Road, west lot.
  • Rockton: Boat Ramp Parking area about 830 East Main Street, opposite Hononegah ball field; Williams Tree Farm, 4661 Yale Bridge Road.
  • Roscoe: Valley View Farms, 6440 Belvidere Road.
  • Pecatonica: Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve, 4550 N Pecatonica Road, near the picnic area
  • Village of Davis: Davis Village Hall, 104 E. McKimmey

23 WIFR News:

Before dropping off a tree in the designated area, remove the stand, any ornaments, lights, or wraps. Garlands and wreaths made with wire cannot be accepted as they will damage the chipper. After January 17, the mulch is while supplies last. This is self-serve, so bring shovels and containers to take home the mulch to use for landscaping. Availability is not guaranteed; all mulch will be cleared before March, 2020.