East Peoria waste collectors stress importance of proper Christmas tree disposal

Local News

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — As you prepare to take down your holiday decorations, it’s important to make sure your Christmas tree is disposed of properly.

A street supervisor with the City of East Peoria explains the trees are not considered landscape waste.

“They have to be cut up and placed inside the toter in order for the city to pick them up,” said Public Works Streets Supervisor Rick Semonski. “If residents can find a means to recycle them, I would contact the local county health department and see if there’s a means to recycle it.”

Semonski said materials left on branches, like ornaments and tinsel, can be harmful to more than the environment.

“The debris left on the trees like hooks, tinsel, glass, or plastic bulbs could be harmful to animals,” Semonski said.

“They are technically landscape waste when no debris is on them. The reason we allow them in the trash is because of the debris and the fact it is not practical to inspect each tree prior to claiming its landscape waste. The same thing is done with street sweepings. You would think because most of what is swept up is dirt and you could use it as fill, but because it has trash in it, it must go to the landfill.”

A full list of sites you can use to recycle your Christmas tree can be seen below:

  • Armington — across from Village Hall
  • Creve Coeur — Village Hall, 101 N. Thorncrest
  • East Peoria — ICC East Campus, near truck driver’s training area
  • Hopedale — behind Village Hall
  • Mackinaw — 605 S. Orchard (behind recycle bins)
  • Minier — Near recycle bin at Park & Pennsylvania
  • Morton — Freedom Hall, 349 W. Birchwood
  • Tremont — Leaf pile, adjacent to City Park
  • Washington — 815 Lincoln, near maintenance
  • Pekin (residents only) — city will pick up trees at the curb during the first two weeks of January

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