If you live in Champaign County and need to dispose of a live Christmas tree, rest easy: We have you covered.
Depending on where you live, there are several (free) options to recycle or dispose of live Christmas trees in Champaign, Urbana, and throughout Champaign County. Champaign and Urbana have curbside tree pickup for residents; others may need to take in their own trees.
Thank you to Prairie Gardens for sponsoring this list.
No matter where you recycle your live Christmas tree, make sure to remove all decorations, lights, popcorn, tinsel, toppers, stands, plastic bags, etc. Most trees are ground into landscape mulch.
Landscape Recycling Center, Urbana: According to the City of Champaign, trees may be taken to the Landscape Recycling Center at 1210 E. University Ave., Urbana, for free recycling during January and February. There is no residency requirement; open to all.
City of Urbana: The City of Urbana will provide Christmas tree collection to all residents during the week of Jan. 10-14. Residents must follow these requirements: Place tree along curb (on the parkway) by 6 a.m. on your regular U-CYCLE collection day; remove all decorations, stands, and all metal from tree before collection; no tinsel or flocked trees; remove any plastic tree bags.
Champaign County Forest Preserve: Bring your tree to a drop-off site at one of the following forest preserves, open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset:
• Lake of the Woods, Mahomet – drop trees off at the west maintenance entrance off Rte. 47.
• Homer Lake Forest Preserve – drop trees off near the Maple Sugar Grove.
• Middle Fork River Forest Preserve – drop trees off at maintenance building
There are signs to direct you where to drop off your tree. Drop-offs accepted at the marked sites only between Dec. 26 and Jan. 14. Only undecorated, real Christmas trees can be accepted; no yard waste. Commercial drop-offs are prohibited.
Lights recycling: Do you have Christmas lights you want to get rid of? Don’t throw them in the trash; take them to be recycled — and get paid for them — at Mervis Recycling, 3008 N. Cunningham Ave., Urbana, or Twin City Recycling, 2808 N. Lincoln Ave., Urbana.
Ornament recycling: If you have ornaments you want to get rid of, check out our “Where to Donate” article. The I.D.E.A. store seems appropriate as well.
Everything Holiday Season In and Around Champaign-Urbana
- Where to Eat on Christmas in Champaign-Urbana
- Amazing Christmas Lights Around Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
- Live Nativity Displays in Champaign-Urbana
- How to Chop Down Your Own Christmas Tree in the Shawnee National Forest – For $5 (or Less)
- Home for the Holidays: Shopping and Eating Locally in Champaign-Urbana
- Botanical Garden at Lake of the Woods to Illuminate during Holidays for First Time