Jennifer Molski & Tony Manos, Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Recycling Program

The idea for the Christmas Tree and Holiday light recycling program started when Jennifer moved to the south Chicago suburbs 3 years ago.  She was surprised to see Christmas Trees at the curbs waiting for the disposal service to pick them up and bring them to landfill. Seeing a need, Jennifer and Tony created a recycling program in partnership with 2 other community organizations who were already doing great work for the local environment –the Western Avenue School Green Team and Irons Oaks Environmental Center.

So far, through community drop off days staffed by Girl Scouts, National Honor Society Members, Green Team volunteers, and other local residents, this resident-led initiative has collected approximately 1,500 trees and 1,500 pounds of non working or unwanted holiday lights.  Trees are chipped and mulched and used on the 30 acres of paths and trails at Irons Oaks Environmental Center. Holiday lights are separated by plastic, copper and glass then recycled.

This year Tony and Jennifer hope to expand the program further and reach even more people in the Chicago area.  Pollination Project funds will be used for outreach materials like re-useable freeway banners and a website.