Christmas Tree Recycling?

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

The number of trees chipped in Ogle County this past January was over 339.  With each tree weighing about 50 pounds, that’s approximately 8.5 tons of waste being diverted from the landfill. Almost 16,554 trees have been recycled since the inception of the program in 1998, which equates to over 413 tons of trees.


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.

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

x-mas-recycle-2010-004-300x225City of Byron
Tom Lichty’s Landscaping Service
Village of Forreston
Village of Leaf River
Oregon Park District
Morgan’s Tree Service
Flagg-Rochelle Park District
City of Rochelle
City of Polo

Thank you for your continued participation!

Drop off Locations:

  • Oregon: Drop off at Park District Maintenance Dept., 507 Hill Street. 
  • Byron: Drop off at Byron boat launch lot, E. Blackhawk Dr. (Rt. 2).   
  • Forreston: Drop off at 407 N. Locust Street.  
  • 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 the first two weeks of January.
  • Monroe Center: Drop off at Tom Lichty’s Landscaping, 309 Pacific Street.
  • Polo: Drop off at southwest corner of E. Colden & S. Green Avenue. 
  • Mt. Morris: Drop-off at Oregon Park District Maintenance Dept., 507 Hill Street. 

    Drop off ends at the end of January.    Christmas Tree Recycling 2023-2024

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.