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Christmas tree in Illinois comprised of 10K recycled bottles

The corner of Neil and Washington streets in downtown Champaign has been a beehive of activity...
The corner of Neil and Washington streets in downtown Champaign has been a beehive of activity as artist Jason Mack and a team of workers built a 31-foot fall glass Christmas tree.(Robin Scholz, The News-Gazette)
Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 12:01 PM CST
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A Christmas tree made of about 10,000 recycled glass bottles and weighing 1.5 tons is on display in central Illinois through next month.

A team of workers has been putting the final touches on the 31-foot tree made of melted glass in downtown Champaign, according to The News-Gazette. It took roughly two weeks to make.

The project is being paid for with donations from local businesses. The recycled glass came from the community. The tree, which is lit from inside, will be up until Jan. 30.

Artist Jason Mack helped lead the team and calls it a “work of love” that has prompted thousands of visitors. Workers would put crushed green-bottle glass into a propane-heated mobile glass furnace and would then add it to the tree.

“I have had so many people come up and thank me for doing it,” Mack told the newspaper. “Some get so excited. It gives them a reason to get out of their house and come to see it and come downtown again.”

When the tree is removed, the glass will be used to make other art projects, including ornaments.

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