Christmas Tree Recycling

Thank you Ogle County residents that participated in recycling their Christmas trees this year.  

In Ogle County when the final carol has been sung and the last cookie baked, it’s time to give a final Christmas gift by recycling your Christmas tree. A real Christmas tree is a renewable, recyclable resource that allows you and your family to enjoy the noblest of holiday symbols and help the environment at the same time.

Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department offers a Christmas tree recycling program for residents in the area. Please be sure to remove all decorations from the tree, including ornaments, garland, tinsel, and water stand.

Trees will be chipped into mulch to be used for public beautification projects. Additional mulch is available to residents at no charge, and will be available for pick-up at most locations. This mulch can be used for gardening and landscaping or on biking trails, paths, and walkways.

The number of trees chipped in Ogle County this past January was over 500.  With each tree weighing about 50 pounds, that’s approximately 13 tons of waste being diverted from the landfill. Over 13,757 trees have been recycled since the inception of the program in 1998, which equates to approximately 344 tons of trees.

Local high school FFA groups from Byron, Oregon, Polo, and Forreston volunteer their time to pick up trees at the curb for residents and take them to the chipping site.

This program is very successful because it is based on the volunteer efforts of the following businesses and organizations: 


City of Byron
Byron High School FFA
Tom Lichty’s Landscaping Service
Village of Forreston
Forreston High School FFA
Village of Leaf River
Oregon Park District
Oregon High School FFA
Morgan’s Tree Service
Flagg-Rochelle Park District
City of Rochelle
City of Polo
Polo High School FFA

Locations:

Please check each location to see if there is a pick up or drop-off. Trees must be at the curb no later than 8:00 a.m., on Saturday, January 7th for pick up.

  • Oregon: Drop off at Park District Maintenance Dept., 507 Hill Street. Oregon High School FFA will pick up trees at the curb.
  • Byron: Drop off at Byron boat launch lot, E. Blackhawk Dr. (Rt. 2).   Byron High School FFA will pick up trees at the curb.
  • Forreston: Drop off at 407 N. Locust Street.  Forreston High School FFA will pick up trees at the curb.
  • Leaf River: Drop off at 208 W. Railroad Street (near sewage treatment plant).
  • Rochelle: Drop off at Atwood Park, 10th Avenue & 20th Street. City will chip trees at the curb from January 2nd – 16th.
  • Monroe Center: Drop off at Tom Lichty’s Landscaping, 309 Pacific Street.
  • Polo: Drop off at southwest corner of E. Colden & S. Green Avenue. Polo High School FFA will pick up trees at the curb.
  • Mt. Morris: Drop-off at Oregon Park District Maintenance Dept., 507 Hill Street. Oregon High School FFA will pick up trees at the curb.

    Drop off ends in January

Other Options

One of the best things you can do is to give it to the birds. Winter birds appreciate the cover of a tree, especially if decorated with bird food ornaments.

Tie the tree to a stake or post to prevent it from blowing away in winter winds. Or lay the tree on its side and scatter birdseed around it. Just be sure to remove any Christmas decorations, especially tinsel, which can hurt birds if they eat them.

Cut up the branches and use them as winter mulch on perennial flowerbeds.  Place evergreen boughs on top of low growing plants for protection, especially in late winter, when freezing and thawing of the soil heaves shallow-rooted perennials out of the ground.

Other branches can be dispensed to a winter display. Arrange them in a large container near your door, porch, or some other focal point. Add other greenery and decorations, such as barberry, cones, dried grasses, berries, and seedpods.

The Solid Waste Management Department coordinates the Christmas Tree Recycling Program, advertises in the local newspapers and distributes posters to various towns. Please contact our office for more information or to volunteer during this event.

The Ogle County Christmas Tree Recycling Program received State recognition when it was presented the 2011 Illinois Recycling Association’s “Excellence in Recycling” Award for Outstanding Community or Government Program.