Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful will have 14 local sites available for Christmas tree recycling from January 1-15. There will be free drop-off sites located in Rockford, Belvidere, Cherry Valley, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Roscoe, Rockton and Pecatonica. The Machesney Park drop-off site has changed from previous years and is now at the southwest parking lot of Machesney Town Center, 8750 North Second Street, off South Mall Drive near the rear of the former J.C. Penney store.
Recycling natural trees conserves landfill space while also providing mulch for landscapes. KNIB calculates that more than 750,000 trees have been recycled locally since 1988. Before a tree can be dropped off the stand should be removed, along with any ornaments, lights or wraps. After trees are chipped there is mulch available while supplies lasts, and is self-serve and not guaranteed. Any remaining mulch will be cleared by March. Those seeking to pick up mulch should bring shovels and containers to take home the mulch for landscaping.
The chipping is made possible by the Cities of Rockford and Loves Park, Villages of Cherry Valley, Machesney Park, Rockton and Roscoe; Harlem Township; Lincoln Rent0All; Trans Environmental; and Williams Tree Farm. Donors include 23 WIFR Gray Television, Inc.; the City of Belvidere; Comcast; Mid-West Family Broadcasting; The Rock River Times; Rockford Park District; Valley View Farms; and the Winnebago County Forest Preserve.
A list of tree recycling and free mulch locations can be found at knib.org.