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Chicago Park Districts Will Collect, Recycle Your Christmas Trees

CHICAGO (CBS) -- If you're taking down your Christmas decorations and you have a real tree you'd like to recycle, Chicagoans will have 25 places to take them again this winter.

John Lough, Senior City Forester with the Department of Streets and Sanitation Bureau of Forestry said the city recycled more than 21,000 Christmas trees last year and has recycled nearly 250,000 trees during the 28 years the program has already run.

tree recycle
Chicago's Christmas tree recycling program 2017 (Credit: Streets and Sanitation flyer)

There are 25 Chicago Park District locations you can take the trees to have them chipped and turned into mulch. If you'd like mulch for your garden, you're free to take it from six locations. Lough says a limited amount of mulch is put out "because it tends to freeze this time of year," but he said Chicagoans are welcome to take as much as they'd like.

"You can bring out what you have - bags, barrels, boxes and load it up," he said.

Lough said some people have already dropped off their trees.

"We have a few early birds that are already dropping trees off, which goes to show you it's never too cold to recycle," he said.

The city's Christmas tree recycling program starts Jan. 6 and runs through Jan. 20. You can find a list of locations on the Streets and Sanitation website.

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