Christmas tree recycling at 13 sites Jan. 1-15

Christmas trees gain new life as landscaping mulch when dropped off at one of 13 sites in Winnebago County through Jan. 15. Above: Rockford Forestry Department worker Keith Grassley chips trees at Gambino Park, Rockford, in 2014. (Photo provided)
Christmas trees gain new life as landscaping mulch when dropped off at one of 13 sites in Winnebago County through Jan. 15. Above: Rockford Forestry Department worker Keith Grassley chips trees at Gambino Park, Rockford, in 2014. (Photo provided)

Staff Report

Natural Christmas trees will be chipped into mulch Jan. 1-15 when dropped off at one of 13 sites in Winnebago County, in a recycling project coordinated by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) for the 27th year. The sites are open daylight hours in Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Cherry Valley, Roscoe, Rockton and Pecatonica, Illinois.

The stateline’s educational environmental organization requires stands, any ornaments, lights and wraps used in transportation of the tree to be removed before leaving it in the designated area. No wreaths, garlands or flocked trees accepted. The Christmas tree recycling program keeps a usable resource from adding unnecessarily to the landfill.

Mulch from the chipped trees will be available after Jan. 15, while supplies last, and is gone by March. Bring containers and shovels and a liner for the vehicle when retrieving mulch.

Following are 2015 KNIB Christmas tree recycling and free mulch locations (map: www.knib.org/programs/christmas-tree-recycling/):

• Cherry Valley: Baumann Park, South Walnut entrance.

• Loves Park: Martin Park, lot on Park Ridge Road off Riverside Boulevard.

• Machesney Park: Behind Village Hall, 300 Machesney Road.

• Rockford: Alpine Park, 950 S. Alpine Road; Andrews Park, 800 N. Central Ave.; Blackhawk Park, 100 — 15th Ave.; Don Schmid Youth Sports Center, Riverdahl Park off Sandy Hollow; Gambino Park, 4400 block of Pepper Drive west of North Alpine Road; Levings Lake, east entrance off Johnston Avenue.

• Rockton: Boat Ramp Parking Lot off Hononegah Road (opposite Hononegah baseball field) and Williams Tree Farm, 4661 Yale Bridge Road.

• Roscoe: Valley View Farms, 6440 Belvidere Road.

• Pecatonica: 4550 N. Pecatonica Road, near picnic area, Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve.

The Christmas tree recycling program continues annually as a result of the generosity of sponsors, including the City of Loves Park, the City of Rockford, the Villages of Cherry Valley, Machesney Park, Rockton and Roscoe, Harlem Township and corporate sponsors and in-kind donors Lincoln Rent-All, Trans Environmental, Comcast, The Rock River Times, Rockford Park District, Valley View Farms, Winnebago County Forest Preserve, Williams Tree Farm and 23-WIFR Gray Television.

Household recyclables, including holiday lights, may be brought to the KNIB recycle centers at 4665 Hydraulic Road, Rockford, and 13125 N. Second St., Roscoe. Hours are 9 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, unless the wind chill factor is zero degrees or less; the Rockford location is also open 2-5 p.m., Tuesdays.

Examples of post-holiday items accepted at either KNIB recycle center include flattened cardboard, chipboard shoe and food boxes, plastic pop, water, milk and condiment bottles (codes No. 1 and No. 2), glass beverage bottles, old electrical cords, bagged clean clothing — wearable or not, most items containing metal, electronics, cell phones, but not wrapping paper, pizza boxes, TVs or appliances with Freon.

For a more complete list, visit www.knib.org/programs/recycling-center/. Follow the environmental non-profit on Facebook, email info@knib.org, or call (815) 637-1343.

From the Dec. 31, 2014-Jan. 6, 2015, issue

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