After the last ornament has been packed away, don't just toss the tree out on the curb with the rest of the holiday trash. Residents can recycle their holiday greenery instead of putting it into a landfill.
Trees are recycled into landscape mulch, compost or wildlife habitat. When weighted and submerged in farm ponds, Christmas trees increase fish and amphibian habitat. Before disposal, all trees must be stripped of decorations, including tinsel and garland.
Boxes and wrapping paper can also be recycled in a curbside recycling bin or at a recycling station.
Residents should use the drop-off locations during daytime hours for Christmas trees only. Pine wreaths, pine roping and other landscape waste will not be accepted.
St. Clair County
Residents can recycle their trees through Jan. 31 at:
Belleville: Bellevue Park, 401 Bellevue Park Drive; Ladermann Park, 1105 Mascoutah Avenue; North End Park, 1204 North Douglas.
Cahokia: Cahokia Park at the corner soccer field.
Fairview Heights: Moody Park at South Ruby Lane and Wilcox. Place trees south of the recycling center.
Freeburg: The old sewer plant on Kessler Road.
Lebanon: 533 North Madison at the corner of Summerfield Street and Illinois 4.
Mascoutah: Mascoutah Township and Engelmann Township: Green Waste Yard at South 10th Street.
Millstadt: 200 block of North Main Street off West Gooding at Tuffy Meuth Park.
O'Fallon: Residential curbside pickup only.
St. Clair Township: Centennial Park off Illinois 161
Shiloh: 142 Siebert Road.
Smithton: Village Park.
Stookey Township: Stookey Township Property, 313 Eiler Road.
Sugarloaf Township: 240 S. Fifth St. Rear in Dupo.
Swansea: Centennial Park parking lot on Highway 161; Melvin Price Park next to the maintenance building, Schranz Park off Huntwood Road and Honeysuckle.
For more information about paper or tree recycling, visit www.health.co.st-clair.il.us.
Old boxes and wrapping paper can be recycled in the curbside blue bins or nearest recycling station in Madison County. There are seven recycling sites countywide.
For more information about Christmas tree recycling or any other recycling questions, call 296-6647 or go to www.madisoncountyrecycles.com.
Madison County residents can take their Christmas trees to any one of the free drop-off sites listed, where they will be chipped and made into reusable mulch by area township or public works departments. The accumulated mulch, which makes excellent insulator or groundcover, will be used in parks programs or offered to residents free of charge.
Residents can drop off trees at:
Alhambra: Maintenance shed at 421 Elm St.
Alton: Milton Park at the south end of Aberdeen; Northside Park at 201 Rozier and Salu Park on Washington Avenue.
Bethalto: Contact public works department for curbside pick-up at 377-8013.
Collinsville: Collinsville Township Highway Garage, 1407 N. Bluff Road; Collinsville Public Works Garage on Illinois 159.; Collinsville Sports Complex in the gravel parking lot at 198 Complex Drive and at Woodland Park maintenance garage on Oliver Drive.
Chouteau Township: Chouteau Township Highway Garage at 906 Thorngate Drive in Granite City.
Edwardsville/Edwardsville Township: Winston Brown Recreational Complex at the west end of the parking lot at 1325 Schiller Ave. and at Robert Stille Township Park at 6364 Center Grove Road.
Glen Carbon: Citizens Park on Danzer Street.
Godfrey: Village of Godfrey Street Department at 6212 Godfrey Road.
Granite City: Granite City Parks Department at the 29th Street turn-around
Highland/Helvetia Township: Helvetia Township Highway Department, 12466 Buckeye Road in Highland.
Omphghent Township: Pin Oak Township Highway Department at 3702 Tosovsky Lane/Interstate 55 and Route 143, Edwardsville.
Saline Township: Saline Township Highway Garage on Sportsmen Road in Highland.
St. Jacob: 1566 Old State Route 4, one mile west of town on Ellis Road.
Troy: Tri-Township Park at 409 Collinsville Road in Troy.
Venice Township: Eagle Park at 208 Watson in Madison.
Wood River: City garage near the water tower at Illinois 143 and 14th Street. Curbside pickup, call 259-2490 to schedule.
Columbia: Christmas tree recycling drop-off is scheduled for Jan. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bolm-Schuhkraft City Park parking lot next to Parkview School.
Waterloo: Western Egyptian Nutrition site at 207 W. Fourth St..
Carlyle Lake: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Carlyle Lake uses recycled Christmas trees in the lake to create fish habitat. The trees will be collected, bundled and submerged in select locations in the lake. The trees provide fish with breeding areas and escape cover.
Trees can be dropped off at the lake at the following times and location: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Plantland on Old U.S. Route 50 east of Breese.
Those interested in volunteering to help place Christmas trees in the lake for fish habitat should call 594-2484, email at email@example.com or visit www.mvs.usace.army.mil/Carlyle.