Christmas is over, but the tree doesn’t have to go to waste.
There are many locations across the metro-east that will take Christmas trees to recycle them as fertilizer in public parks and gardens or as fish habitats in lakes and ponds.
Here are the 28 drop-off sites in Madison County that will accept trees from Dec. 26 to Jan. 14., as well as 15 sites in St. Clair County accepting trees until Jan. 31:
▪ Alhambra and Alhambra Township: Village Maintenance Shed, 421 Elm St., Alhambra. Curbside can be requested by calling 618-488-3505.
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▪ Alton: Curbside pickup only. Call Public Works at 618-463-3530, option 0 to be placed on the pickup list.
▪ Belleville: Bellevue Park, 401 Bellevue Park Drive. Ladermann Park, 1105 Mascoutah Ave. North End Park, 1204 North Douglas Ave., near the intersection of North Illinois Street (Illinois 159) and North Douglas Avenue.
▪ Cahokia: 212 Cahokia Park, at the corner soccer field.
▪ Collinsville: Willoughby Farm, 631 Willoughby Lane and Woodland Park, 2 Pine Lake Road, by the Fletcher Field parking lot.
▪ Collinsville Township: Collinsville Township Road District, 1407 N. Bluff Road, Collinsville, and curbside pickup for unincorporated Collinsville Township only.
▪ Village of East Alton: City Garage, 331 Playground Court and curbside pickup.
▪ Edwardsville: Hoppe Park, Winston Brown Recreation Complex, 1325 Schiller Ave., west end of the parking lot.
▪ Edwardsville Township: Township Community Park, 6368 Center Grove Road, Edwardsville, near the trash bin in the lower parking lot. Trees accepted until Jan. 31.
▪ Fairview Heights: Moody Park at S. Ruby Lane and Wilcox Street, south of the recycling center.
▪ Fort Russell Township: Highway Garage, 112 Clover St., Moro.
▪ Foster Township: Township Garage, 4754 Fosterburg Road, Alton, behind the garage.
▪ Freeburg: The old sewer plant on Kessler Road.
▪ Glen Carbon: Bike trail parking lot, Danzer Drive, Glen Carbon.
▪ Godfrey: Street Department, 6212 Godfrey Road, Godfrey.
▪ Granite City: Granite City Park District, circle drive at end of 29th Street, Granite City. Accepting trees from Dec. 26 to Jan. 11.
▪ Hamel and Hamel Township: Township Highway Department, 403 N. Old US Route 66, Hamel.
▪ Hartford: Curbside pickup.
▪ Helvetia Township: Township Shed, 12466 Buckeye Road, Highland.
▪ Lebanon: 523 N. Madison St., on the corner of Summerfield Street and Illinois 4.
▪ Leef Township: Township Garage, 12905 Niggli Road, N. 160.
▪ Madison: Curbside pickup.
▪ Marine Township: Township Shed, 620 N. Vernon St., Marine.
▪ Millstadt: Tuffy Mueth Park, 200 block of N. Main Street off of W. Gooding Street.
▪ Village of Maryville: Curbside pickup.
▪ Moro Township: 117 Montgomery St., Moro.
▪ O’Fallon: Curbside pickup.
▪ Olive, Livingston and Williamson Townships: Olive Township Maintenance Facility, 8363 Frontage Road, New Douglas.
▪ Pin Oak Township: Pin Oak Township Highway Department, 3702 Tosovsky Lane, Edwardsville.
▪ Saline Township: Saline Township Shed, 3642 George St., Highland.
▪ Shiloh: 126 Seibert Road.
▪ Smithton: Village Park.
▪ St. Clair Township: Centennial Park, Illinois 161. Loop Creek Park, 401 Todd Lane.
▪ St. Jacob Township: Township Highway Garage, 10048 Ellis Road, St. Jacob.
▪ Stookey Township: Stookey Township property, 313 Eiler Road.
▪ Sugarloaf Township: 240 S. 5th St. ,Dupo.
▪ Swansea: Melvin Price Park, next to the maintenance building, and Schranz Park off of Huntwood Court until Jan. 21.
▪ Troy: Tri-Township Park, 410 Wickliffe St., Troy.
▪ Wood River: Compost Site, 400 Smith Court, Wood River.
▪ Wood River Township: Wood River Township Building, 1010 8th St., Cottage Hills, and curbside pickup.
Besides the tree, you might have more holiday trash that can be recycled, including wrapping paper without glitter or metallics, catalogs, paper gift bags with the handles removed, cardboard boxes, lottery tickets, paper tubes and holiday cards without electronics or foil. Those items can be put in a home recycling bin.
Burnt out Christmas light strands, plastic bags and bubble wrap can be recycled, too, but they should be dropped off at the recycling bins found in local stores, according to a news release from Madison County.
The items that shouldn’t go in the recycling bin are bows, ribbon, empty plastic ribbon spools, tissue paper, packing peanuts and Styrofoam.