Holiday tree recycling sites available

Each year, 35 million American families bring real holiday trees into their homes, creating a warm and glowing part of their holiday celebration. After the holiday season as you’re putting away those holiday decorations for another year, do something with your holiday tree that will be good for our local environment—recycle it.

Winnebago/Rockford Clean & Beautiful offers 13 locations throughout Rockford and Winnebago County for families to recycle their holiday trees into wood mulch and keep them out of our landfills and roadside ditches.

The 16th Annual Christmas Tree Recycling program serves more than 30,000 households each year as families drop off their trees from Jan. 1 through Jan. 15.

Winnebago/Rockford Clean & Beautiful Executive Director Lori Gummow stresses the importance of removing all decorations.

“Residents need to remove tree bags, wire, lights and ornaments before taking trees to a drop-off site,” she said. “Also, no tree stands or wreaths will be accepted. Because the trees are put through large chippers, anything left on the trees could damage the equipment or harm a crew member.”

Mulch will be available free to area residents as the trees are chipped at each location.

Participating in the Christmas Tree Recycling program is a great way for your family to help make a difference, she said.

“Including your tree in our program is the best environmental choice you can make for this holiday season,” Gummow said.

Trees can be dropped off Jan. 1 through Jan. 15 at the following locations:

u Don Schmid Youth Sports Center at Riverdahl Park, Rockford

u Blackhawk Park, 100 15th Ave., Rockford

u Levings Lake, east entrance off Johnston Avenue, Rockford

u Andrews Park, 800 N. Central Ave., Rockford

u Gambino Park, River Lane off North Alpine Road, Rockford

u Alpine Park, 900 S. Alpine Road, Rockford

u Martin Park., Park Ridge Road off Riverside Boulevard, Loves Park

u Machesney Park Village Hall, 300 Machesney Road

u Baumann Park, behind the maintenance building on South Walnut, Cherry Valley

u Williams Tree Farm, 4661 Yale Bridge Road, north Winnebago County

u Rockton Boat Ramp Parking Lot, off Hononegah Road

u Valley View Farms, 6440 Belvidere Road, Roscoe

u Westlake Village, next to boat launch at Smith Road.

Local sponsors who have provided financial support or services for this project include:

ComEd, City of Loves Park, City of Rockford, Village of Machesney Park, Village of Rockton, Harlem Township, Village of Cherry Valley, Rockton Township, William Charles, VIKING Chemical, Trans Environmental, Woodward, Williams Tree Farm, Valley View Farms, Rockford Park District, Rock River Disposal, and Lincoln Rent-All. This program is also funded in part under a Keep Illinois Beautiful grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Real holiday trees are a recyclable and renewable resource. The trees, while growing, stabilize the soil, protect water supplies and provide refuge for wildlife. Also, one acre of growing holiday trees produces the daily oxygen needed for 18 people.

For more information about the 2004 Christmas Tree Recycling Program or other programs sponsored by Winnebago/Rockford Clean & Beautiful, call (815) 637-1343.

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