I absolutely HATE taking down my Christmas tree when the holidays are over, but I can't avoid the fact that it is quickly becoming a fire hazard. Instead of throwing your beloved tree to the curb this year, recycle it so that it may be put to good use beautifying landscapes across the Stateline for months to come.

Beginning January 1st through January 15th, 13 collection sites across Winnebago and Boone County will be accepting Christmas trees for recycling by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful.  Collection times vary per site, but generally the parks are open from dawn to dusk for drop-offs.

  • Riverdahl Park at 871 Sandy Hallow Rd. in Rockford
  • Levings Lake at Monague entrance
  • Andrews Park at 850 North Central Ave. in Rockford
  • Gambino Park at 4421 Pepper Drive in Rockford
  • Alpine Park at 950 South Alpine in Rockford
  • Martin Park at 5600 Park Ridge Road in Loves Park
  • Machesney Park Center on N 2nd St. in Machesney Park
  • Baumann Park in Cherry Valley
  • Williams Tree Farm at 4661 Yale Bridge Rd. in Rockton
  • Rockton Boat Ramp Parking Lot at 830 E Main St. in Rockton
  • Valley View Tree Farm at 6440 Belvidere Rd. in Roscoe
  • Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve at 4550 North Pecatonica Road in Pecatonica
  • City of Belvidere Street Department at 515 W Locust St. from 7 a.m, to 3:30 p.m.

Before dropping your tree off for recycling, you MUST remove all lights, ornaments and tree stands. Wreaths are not accepted due to the wire frames they are constructed with.

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful will begin mulching the trees around January 15, and this mulch is available for free to the public at each collection site while supplies last. Just bring your own shovel and buckets to take it home in.

For more information on holiday recycling, such as old Christmas lights, like the Keep Northern Illinois Facebook page or check out knib.org.

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook