Tips for Recycling Your Christmas Tree, Wreaths, and Other Holiday Decorations

Tips for Recycling Your Christmas Tree, Wreaths, and Other Holiday Decorations

The holiday season is here. That means presents, family gatherings, and beautiful decorations. Unfortunately, it can also mean a lot of waste. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Many of the things you use around the house can find a second life after the holidays. Here at Lakeshore Recycling Systems, we’re used to dealing with a variety of materials and recycling them properly. Often times, we are asked by clients what they can do to make the holiday season even greener. Here’s a few ways to make this holiday season more eco-friendly.

Save or Reuse Gift Wrap

There are many green ways to handle holiday waste, like gift wrapping paper. You invest a good amount of time finding the perfect wrapping paper and then meticulously wrapping each gift. Then, all of that paper just ends up right in the trash. Instead of throwing that wrapping paper away, you can save and reuse it. You can also recycle it at one of our Chicago recycling centers. Shredded paper can even find a second life as pet bedding, packaging material, or as part of your composting bin. With a little bit of thought and a focus on the environment, it doesn’t have to end up in a landfill.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Most people just bring their Christmas tree to the curb once the holidays are over. Many people have no idea that it can actually be recycled and find another use long after your ornaments have come off of it. The wood from your old Christmas tree can be used to build more things. In the Vatican one year, it was actually used to make toys for local children. Old Christmas trees have even been used in dune restoration projects.

Before you recycle it, you can even use some parts of the tree yourself. The needles on the tree, for example, can actually be used as mulch as they decompose in your yard or garden. If your wreaths and garland are made of natural components, you can recycle them very easily. These natural decorations can find another purpose without taking up space in landfills.

Find Another Use For Bulb Ornaments

We all have some holiday ornaments that have seen better days. Whether it’s missing a hook or just doesn’t match the rest of your ornaments, don’t just throw them away. You can find plenty of DIY projects that help you find a new use for old ornaments. Whether it becomes added flare on a gift or a part of a brand-new holiday decoration, there’s a way to recycle old ornaments and keep them out of a landfill.

Recycle Old or Burnt Out Lights

Your tree is decorated and you plug your lights in, but there’s a problem. Instead of a beautiful, lit up tree, you notice that one string of bulbs is completely burned out. Don’t throw them in the trash just yet. Some hardware and home improvement stores can take those old bulbs and give you newer LED lights. These lights use less energy and could last for decades. Not only are you safely disposing of old lightbulbs, but you’re reducing your electricity usage as well. So, recycle what you can during the holiday season, and reach out to the experts at Lakeshore Recycling Systems by calling 773-685-8811 if you have any questions.

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Coronavirus Service Alert

Please note that as an essential business for our community, LRS is providing service as scheduled. We are committed to making sure that waste and recycling collection is the least of your worries.

Service times may vary from your normal collection schedule, so make sure to have your containers out by 6AM on your normal service day.

Please contact us either through our online contact page or via email at and we will get back to you as soon as possible. The hours for our Customer Service Team are 7am to 5pm on Monday through Friday and Saturday from 7am to 12pm.

Please see our Coronavirus communication update for additional information.

ATTENTION REGARDING E-WASTE REQUESTSLRS must suspend our electronic waste collection services.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health concerns associated with virus, LRS must suspend our electronic waste collection services. Please check this site again on May 1st for an update regarding the e-waste collection services. 

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.

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