Christmas tree recycling

The Christmas season is upon us.

The Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department encourages Ogle County residents to recycle their Christmas trees once this season has passed.

There are now seven locations throughout the County where Christmas trees can be dropped off through Jan. 15: 1) Polo—New this year! Trees may be dropped off at Polo Agri Systems, 11512 W. Pines Rd. (east of Polo). On Jan. 7, the Polo High School FFA will be collecting trees at the curb. Aurand Tree Service of Grand Detour is supplying the chipper. 2) Rochelle—The collection at Ruth Flanagan Park has been moved to Atwood Park in Rochelle, 10th Avenue and 20th Street, behind the band shell. 3) Oregon—The Oregon Park District maintenance yard located behind Brian Bemis Motors on Hill Street, Oregon. 4) Byron—Route 2, near the intersection of South Peru Street and Illinois Route No. 2. 5) Forreston, at 407 N. Locust St. by the waste water treatment plant, near the maintenance building; 6) Leaf River, at 18 Railroad St. (end of street) by the sewage treatment plant and 7) Monroe Center, at Tom Lichty’s Landscaping at 309 Pacific Street. The Monroe Center, Forreston and Leaf River sites have been made possible with grants from the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department.

The City of Rochelle will be chipping trees at the curb during the first two weeks of January. Also, trees can be dropped off at the Public Works Garage at the northwest corner of 1st Avenue and Caron Road in Rochelle. Trees left next to garbage at the curb will be treated as waste, rather than recycled. There is plenty of mulch available for free at the Rochelle St. Garage. Call Don at (815)562-2494 for more information.

Residents must bring trees to the recycling sites except for the following: The Village of Forreston city crews will chip trees at the curb in Forreston on January 9. The Forreston High School FFA students will pick up trees in the Forreston and Leaf River areas in early Jan. to be chipped.

The Byron High School FFA students will pick up trees at the curb in the Byron area on Friday afternoon, Jan. 6. The students will pick up as many trees as they can during a three-hour period after final exams. After Jan. 6, trees should be taken to the recycling site in Byron at the intersection of Illinois Route 2 and South Peru Street for recycling.

The Polo High School FFA students will pick trees up at the curb in the City of Polo on Saturday, Jan. 7 and take them to the chipping site located at Polo Agri Systems.

Any trees left at the curb after these dates will be picked up by the garbage haulers and taken to a landfill,. where they will take up precious space and no longer be available as mulch.

To enable the trees to be recycled, the trees must be totally undecorated. All tinsel, ornaments, lights, nails, plastic bags and tree stands must be removed. Items left on the tree may damage the chippers. Wreaths and flocked trees cannot be chipped so please do not bring these items to the site.

A quick summary of when to have your Christmas tree at the curb to have it recycled: Village of Forreston, Jan. 9; Byron, Jan. 6; Polo, Jan. 7; City of Rochelle, first two weeks of January. All others must take their tree to a recycling site to have it chipped.

Any resident who makes the effort to have their tree chipped will benefit the environment and start the year off on an earth-friendly note. The trees will be chipped and turned into mulch. Residents may bring a shovel and container and take home free mulch when available at the drop off sites. Christmas tree mulch is valuable for shrubs and flower beds. It helps conserve moisture and keeps weeds from growing. When trees are mulched, they are not taking up valuable landfill space and by not being burned, they will not contribute to air pollution.

If you have any questions regarding the recycling of your Christmas tree, please call Joy at the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department at (815)732-4020.

The Ogle County Christmas tree Recycling Program is sponsored by The City of Byron, the Byron Forest Preserve District, Byron High School FFA, the Oregon Park District, Flagg-Rochelle Park District, the Village of Forreston, Forreston High School FFA, the Village of Leaf River, the City of Rochelle, Tom Lichty’s Landscaping Service, Polo Agri Systems, Polo High School FFA, Aurand Tree Service in Grand Detour and the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department.

From the Jan. 4-10, 2006, issue

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