What to know about recycling your Christmas trees and lights

McHenry County residents can leave their trees for pickup in the coming days

Diedra Giles decorates the Community Home Inspections trees on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, as she prepares the tree for the McHenry Chamber of Commerce Festival of Trees at the McHenry Recreation Center. The tree festival runs through Dec. 30, You can vote for your favorite Christmas tree by leaving canned food or toiletries under the tree you like best during normal business hours. All donations go to Veteran’s Path to Hope.

McHenry County residents can leave their trees at various points in January, although the dates vary by town. Holiday light recycling also is available in many communities, and dates vary by location, as well.

What should I do with my holiday lights?

Several towns offer holiday light recycling. Some locations offer recycling in January, others year-round. Here’s a list of some locations, based on a post on the McHenry County Department of Health Facebook page.

Algonquin: Ganek Municipal Center, 2200 Harnish Drive, through Jan. 17.

Cary: Cary Municipal Center, 755 Georgetown Drive, through Jan. 31; Cary Fire Protection District Station 1, 400 Cary-Algonquin Road, through Jan. 31; Cary Fire Protection District Station 2, 2015 Crystal Lake Road, through Jan. 31.

Crystal Lake: Elgin Recycling, 5114 Terra Cotta Ave., year-round; Algonquin Township Offices, 3702 Northwest Highway, year-round; City Hall, 100 W. Woodstock St., through Jan. 31; Main Beach parking lot, 305 Lakeshore Drive, through Jan. 15

McHenry: Municipal Center, 333 S. Green St., through Jan. 26; Public Works Facility, 1415 Industrial Drive, through Jan. 26.

Spring Grove: Village Hall, 7401 Meyer Road, year-round.

Woodstock: City Hall, 121 W. Calhoun St., through Feb. 16; Woodstock Police Department, 656 Lake St., through Feb. 16; Woodstock Public Library, 414 W. Judd St., through Feb. 16; Woodstock Recreation Center, 820 Lake Ave., through Feb. 16.

What do I do with my tree?

Here’s when tree pickup is in your town.

• Algonquin: Tree pickup runs throughout January. According to Groot’ Waste Management’s website, “Trees must be free of all lights, ornaments and tinsel in order to be recycled.”

• Cary: Tree pickup runs on regularly scheduled pickup day throughout January, according to Flood Brothers Waste Disposal’s website.

Crystal Lake: Tree pickup runs Jan. 2 through 19. According to a post on the city’s Facebook page, trash and tree pickup might not be the same day.

Huntley: Residents can drop off trees for recycling at Sun Valley Farm at Betsey Warrington Park, 12201 West Main St., until Jan. 31. People can leave their trees at the curb during January for disposal at the landfill, according to the village website. Trees left for disposal in Sun City must be 6 feet or shorter, and trees left elsewhere in the village have to be cut in half if they are taller than 10 feet.

Lake in the Hills: tree pickup runs through January, according to Flood Brothers’ website.

• McHenry: Tree recycling is Jan. 2 through 12. The city’s website says pickup generally will happen on residents’ regular trash pickup day, and trees will be made into wood chips.

• Woodstock: Tree pickup is garbage day between Jan. 2 and 29. The city’s website says trees will be mulched.