01/10/2012 01:22 pm ET

Chicago Offering Holiday Tree Recycling Through Jan. 20

Chicagoans looking for a place to dump their holiday trees in an environmentally friendly way have through Jan. 20 to drop off their festive firs at one of the city's 23 tree recycling sites.

In December, the city announced that it would be accepting holiday trees at the stations from Jan. 7 through Jan. 20.

As the Associated Press reported, the trees will be converted into mulch, which will be reused as ground cover in city landscaping projects or in residents' backyards. Beginning Jan. 13, residents can stop by to pick up mulch for such projects.

The recycling drive, during which the city collected more than 14,500 trees last year, is intended to help keep trees out of landfills. Over the past 22 years, NBC Chicago reported, the program has recycled 143,000 trees.

Though the city asks that residents remove lights, garland, stands and other decorations from their trees before dropping them off at the recycling sites, residents looking to unload broken, burnt-out or old holiday string lights to be recycled may also drop off those items at four locations throughout the city through Jan. 31.

Photo by ahenobarbus via Flickr.