County Christmas tree recycling program wraps up

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OREGON — The annual Ogle County Christmas tree collection and chipping program recently wrapped up around the county and final numbers for trees are now in. 

A total of around 280 trees were collected and chipped up into useful mulch. That is a total of around 14,000 pounds or roughly seven tons of trees not headed to the landfill. While the overall number of trees was down this past season, it was good to once again offer curb-side collection in some areas. Since program year 1999, a total of almost 16,300 trees, or roughly 408 tons, have been recycled into mulch and not ended up in the landfills.

Starting on Dec. 26, people dropped off trees at locations in Rochelle, Byron, Oregon, Monroe Center, Polo, Forreston and Leaf River. Rochelle residents placed trees out by the curb and the street department came out and chipped them at the curb.

In certain areas local Future Farmers of America (FFA) volunteers collected trees and brought them to the drop-off point for chipping. This year’s collection was held on Saturday, Jan. 8 and was the first organized FFA collection since the winter of 2018-2019 due to weather and pandemic-related problems. FFA volunteers in Byron, Forreston, Polo and Oregon collected trees curb-side for residents in their respective areas and collected around 100 trees that morning and dropped them off to the chipping sites around the county.

The Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department (OCSWMD) coordinates the program and wishes to thank all of the volunteers, municipalities, street departments and FFA students and teachers who actually do the work and handle the trees. This program will continue for 2022 and into 2023. Anyone interested in free mulch from the trees, please call the OCSWMD at 815-732-4020 for more information and sites where mulch will be available.