Christmas Tree Recycling Program January 1-15 at 13 Sites

LOVES PARK (WIFR) -- Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful is holding its 25th Annual Christmas Tree Recycling program January 1 – 15, 2013.

Residents are reminded to wrap their trees in reusable bed sheets or blankets instead of disposable tree bags. Trees must be completely bare, without the tree stand or decorations of any kind.

“We ask that everything be removed from the tree. The trees are put through large chippers that could be damaged by forgotten ornaments or lights. Crew members may also be harmed by foreign objects in the equipment,” said Executive Director, Lori Gummow. “This is why we cannot accept pine wreaths with metal frames. Flocked trees are also not accepted, as the white flocking material is not biodegradable.”

Mulch is created as the trees are chipped and is available at no charge to area residents for use in their landscaping; it is a durable ground cover that reduces weeds and retains moisture. Acid-loving plants benefit from the nutrients in the mulch.

“The pine mulch is available on a first come, first served basis. Residents need to bring their own shovel and containers,” Gummow noted. “In its first 24 years, the Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful’s Christmas Tree Recycling Program has resulted in more than one million pounds of pine mulch from more than one-half million trees.” Chipping schedules vary at the different locations, and availability is not guaranteed. The mulch must be off the ground by March 1.

The drop-off sites are unmanned and most are accessible 24 hours a day:

Don Schmid Youth Sports Center, Riverdahl Park off Sandy Hollow, Rockford

Blackhawk Park,100 – 15th Ave, Rockford

Levings Lake, East entrance off Johnston Avenue, Rockford

Andrews Park, 800 North Central Ave, Rockford

Gambino Park, Pepper Drive off North Alpine Road, Rockford

Alpine Park, 900 South Alpine Road, Rockford

Martin Park, Northeast lot, Park Ridge Road off Riverside Boulevard, Loves Park

Machesney Park Village Hall, 300 Machesney Road, Machesney Park

Baumann Park, Cherry Valley (daylight hours only)

Williams Tree Farm, 4661 Yale Bridge Road, Rockton

Rockton Boat Ramp Parking Lot, Off Hononegah Road across from the high school

Valley View Farms, 6440 Belvidere Road, Roscoe

Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve, near picnic area, 4550 N Pecatonica Rd, Pecatonica

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