During the holiday season, we can help Mother Nature by recycling our Christmas trees. Returning the organic material to a composting facility to be mulched is much better than landfilling!
No matter where you live in Kane County, recycling your Christmas tree is easy, and mostly free.
Many city programs offer free recycling for the first part of January and then you have to place a sticker on it after a certain date.
You can also take it to a drop-off location, listed below, for a fee.
Curbside Collection Dates
Kane County Recycling reaches out to all of the cities and villages in Kane County to get their updated info to compile it into this easy alphabetical list for residents to use.
Just click this page on the Kane County Recycles website for information on your city or village program. The full list will also be posted below.
If your town is not on the list, then contact them directly.
Prepare Your Tree for Pick-up
Instructions differ by town, but here are four common tips given by all of the cities and villages:
It is very important to remove all decorations, especially tinsel, before placing it out at the curb for collection or before dropping it off.
- Do not place the tree into plastic bags, just place them out there plain as the day you bought them. This is because they are collected separately and mulched rather than landfilled, and we don’t want the plastic and tinsel in the mulch.
- If the tree is a big one, please cut the trunk into pieces smaller than 6-foot in length.
- If it becomes covered with snow please brush it off so that it is visible to assure that it will be collected.
Keep it Clean
According to realchristmastrees.org, the best way to avoid a mess removing your tree is to place a tree bag (available at hardware stores — reusable and biodegradable) under the stand when you set the tree up.
You can hide it with a tree skirt. Then, when the holidays are done, pull the bag up around the tree, stand and all, and carry it outside. (And remember: DO NOT throw plastic bags in your recycle bin!)
Obviously, you will want to remove the stand and the bag before recycling the tree. If some needles do scatter inside, it is better to sweep them up; as needles can clog vacuum cleaners.
Recycle your Old Light Strings
Finally, people can recycle lights at our electronics recycling drop-offs in Batavia and West Dundee, and at the Kane County collection events.
Advanced Disposal (Veolia) Transfer Station
- Location: 766 Hunter Drive (corner of Hubbard and Hunter), Batavia, IL, 60510
- Contact: 630-879-3587
- Hours: 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 6 a.m.-10 a.m. Saturday
- Specs: Please remove all decorations, tinsel, lights.
- Cost: $15
- Note: Special Saturday drop-off, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., $45 for a load of mixed material, equivalent to a pick-up truck level bed full, can include a tree for no extra cost.
- Location: 1320 Spaulding Road, Elgin, IL, 60120
- Contact: 847-931-2900
- Hours: 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday
- Specs: Please remove all decorations, tinsel, lights, and plastic bags used for transporting. No wreathes or garlands will be accepted. No tree stands. Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- Cost: $10
Municipal Pick-Up Programs
If your village or city is not on the list below, please contact them directly to inquire about tree collection programs for your area.
ALGONQUIN – Groot will offer free curbside collection of trees throughout the month of January for existing residential customers. Trees must be cut in half if over 6 feet, all tinsel, and decorations must be removed. Trees cannot be bagged and be sure to uncover them if buried by snow. Algonquin is also recycling holiday lights. Open to the public!
AURORA – Groot Industries will collect Christmas trees during the weeks beginning Jan. 7 and Jan. 14. Trees must be free of plastic bags, all decorations (including tinsel) and tree stands, and be placed at the curb on your normal collection day. Due to the wire used to form them, wreaths and garlands will not be collected as recycling and must be stickered as trash.
AURORA TOWNSHIP – Collection: Throughout January, the Aurora Township Highway Department will collect Christmas trees from residents in unincorporated Aurora Township. Non-artificial Christmas trees must be undecorated and placed in the right-of-way with the cut ends toward the street. Wreaths will not be picked up. Drop-off: Any Aurora Township resident may drop off their undecorated, non-artificial Christmas tree (no wreaths accepted) at the facility at 220 Butterfield Road, North Aurora. The drop off times are non-holiday weekdays, 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., between Jan. 7 and Jan. 31, 2019.
BATAVIA — As part of the city of Batavia’s refuse contract, Advanced Disposal will be picking up live Christmas trees on residents’ regular collection dates. Residents do not have to use a sticker for Christmas tree removal on these dates only. After these dates, residents should affix a refuse sticker to the tree and place it at the curb on their regular collection date. All materials such as plastic bags, ornaments, lights, nails, etc. should be removed from the trees. Live wreaths and garland should be placed in your regular refuse.
Please use the following schedule:
South Side (Wilson to the south between Kirk/Randall):
- Thursday, Jan. 3
- Wednesday, Jan. 9
North Side (north of Wilson to Fabyan between Kirk/Randall):
- Friday, Jan. 4
- Thursday, Jan. 10
Far West Side (Randall west to City limits):
- Saturday, Jan. 5
- Friday, Jan. 11
CAMPTON TOWNSHIP — Christmas tree collection will run for two weeks starting the last week of December. All trees picked up during this time will be recycled and composted by the waste hauler. Residents will not need to affix a yard waste sticker to the trees during this time. Christmas trees must be free of all decorations and cannot be in plastic bags. If tree is longer than 6 feet, it must be cut in half. After the end of the first week of January, residents may place the tree at the curb with a sticker on it for collection.
CARPENTERSVILLE — Christmas trees are collected free of charge from Dec. 26 through Jan. 31. After that date, they can be disposed of as a bulk item, with a garbage sticker attached.
DUNDEE TOWNSHIP — Dundee Township Highway Commission recycles trees. Bring your tree (all decorations removed) to the Township Garage, 1900 Sleepy Hollow Road (at Route 72), Dec. 25 through Jan. 15. The trees can be dropped off anytime. There are signs showing where to drop them off. Dundee Township does not pick up any trees and the trees have to have all decorations removed. Call Highway Commissioner Scott Sinnett at 847-426-0898 for more information.
EAST DUNDEE — Holiday greenery must have all tinsel, ornaments, lights and nails removed before being placed out at the curb for pick-up and cannot be placed in plastic bags. Holiday greenery collection and pick up is free of charge to village residents with curbside pickup on their regular trash day during the first two full weeks in January.
ELBURN — Trees will be picked up curbside by Waste Management during the first two pick up days in January. No plastic bags, no tinsel, no lights, and no decorations.
ELGIN — Christmas tree collection begins the day following Christmas. Christmas trees should be placed on tree bank. Trees will be picked up on your regular collection days. All decorations and stands must be removed from trees in order to be collected. Please DO NOT place trees in plastic bags. Trees need to be free of snow and ice. Trees taller than 6 feet should be broken down for collection. Free Christmas tree collection ends Friday, Jan. 11. After that date each Christmas tree will require one visibly affixed yard-waste sticker if residents want their tree picked up.
GENEVA — The Public Works Department has scheduled a citywide collection of discarded live Christmas trees for a two-week period in January 2019. Live Christmas trees will be collected Jan. 4, Jan. 5, Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, 2019, by the city’s refuse collection company. No refuse sticker is required during this period.
Workers will also be picking up Jan. 17 and Jan. 18, but trees will require a refuse sticker.
All live Christmas trees will be collected at the curb on your scheduled refuse collection day. Residents must place the tree at the edge of the pavement or near the curb for collection no later than 7 a.m. on their scheduled refuse collection day. In order to ensure the timeliness and integrity of the schedule, crews will not return for special pickups. Once the street has been completed, trees will not be collected until the following week. Please remove all hard materials, ornaments, nails and stands from the trees. All wreaths and roping must be included with normal trash on your scheduled refuse collection day.
GILBERTS — The village of Gilberts’ Waste Hauler shall pickup discarded Christmas trees place on the curbside on the resident’s normal pickup day after the holidays until Jan. 31. If trees are more than 6 feet tall, they must be cut into two pieces.
HUNTLEY — Waste Management Tree Program is available during the month of January for all residential units in Sun City. The trees do not need to be free of decorations as they will go to the landfill. There is no additional cost for this service.
The Huntley Park District Recycling Program also invites residents to bring their tree to Sun Valley Farm at Betsey Warrington Park, free of tinsel and decorations by Jan. 31. These trees will be used as mulch in the parks. There is no cost for this service and is available to residents within Huntley village limits. Detailed information may be found at www.huntleyparks.org or by calling 847-669-3180, Ext. 330.
MAPLE PARK — Residents may set out one Christmas tree per home or unit to be collected on the designated collection day during the first two weeks of January of each year. Trees must be clean (no ornaments, lights, tinsel), unbagged and under 6 feet in length (or cut into 2 pieces, each under 6 feet in length).
MILL CREEK – Advanced Disposal shall pickup discarded Christmas trees free of charge for the first 2 full weeks of January. Trees should be placed on the curb free of all lights, garland, tinsel and decorations in order to be composted.
MONTGOMERY — DC Trash will collect live Christmas trees for disposal on all regular collection days throughout the month of January. Trees must be free of plastic bags, all decorations (including tinsel) and tree stands, and be placed at the curb by 6 a.m. on your normal collection day. No stickers are required.
NAPERVILLE — The city of Naperville will offer a holiday tree recycling collection program during the first two weeks of January. Live holiday trees will be collected on each resident’s normal garbage collection day during these weeks. Trees must be free of all ornaments, tinsel, lights, stands and plastic or bagging material.
NORTH AURORA — Christmas trees will be collected through January at no charge to residents. During this free period the Christmas trees must be free of all decorations and cannot be in plastic bags. Christmas trees more than 6 feet tall need to be cut in half. After the free collection period has expired, Christmas trees will require one trash sticker visibly affixed in order to be collected.
PINGREE GROVE — From the Flood Brothers website: All holiday greenery, including Christmas trees, decorative holiday wreaths and boughs, must have tinsel, ornaments and lights removed from them before being placed at the curb for pickup. Holiday greenery collection and pickup is free of charge the first three weeks of January. Collection of holiday greenery after the third week of January will be billed as a bulk item pick up on your next invoice.
SLEEPY HOLLOW — The Village of Sleepy Hollow’s waste hauler (Groot) will pick up live Christmas trees (all decorations removed) left at the normal garbage pick up area through Jan. 25. Questions regarding pick up should be made directly to Groot at 847-429-7370.
SOUTH ELGIN — Allied Waste/Republic Services will pick up Christmas trees through Jan. 18 (last day of pick up) on normally scheduled refuse days. All decorations should be removed before placing the tree at curbside.
ST. CHARLES — Christmas trees will be picked up the weeks of Jan. 7 and Jan. 14, 2019, on BOTH sides of the river on the regularly scheduled refuse day. Trees collected during this two-week time period do not require a refuse sticker. After the two week period, a sticker will be required for pick up. Trees cannot be bagged and must have all ornaments, tinsel, lights and decorations removed from them. Wreaths and garlands will not be picked up and cannot be accepted due to the wire in them. For questions, please contact the Public Works Department at 630-377-4405.
ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP (unincorporated St. Charles) — Call 630-584-3496 for collection. The Road District will pick up discarded Christmas trees again this year for unincorporated St. Charles Township. The township will not pick up trees with lights, garland or ornaments on them. When you put your tree out, call to put your address on the list for pickup.
SUGAR GROVE — Christmas trees will be picked up by Waste Management through the last refuse pick up in January. Must be free of all decorations (including tinsel). Flocked trees are not accepted. Trees cannot be in plastic bags. If larger than 6 feet, the trees must be cut into pieces no longer than 6 feet.
West Dundee – Free curbside Christmas tree collections are available along with regular refuse collection during the first two full weeks in January (Jan. 11 and Jan. 18), for residential properties with no more than three units.
Trees must be stripped of all decorations and placed at the curb with the cut end facing the street. Trees do not have to be cut up, bundled or placed in yard waste bags.Trees/greenery in plastic bags, wrapped in plastic or covered with artificial snow cannot be accepted. Garlands and wreaths must be disassembled, and the organic portion placed in a yard waste bag.
If you live in a building with more than three units, contact your building owner or refuse hauler regarding the disposal of your tree, or recycle it with Dundee Township (see above).