Community partnership prevents unsold Christmas trees from going to landfill


The Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva’s Green Sanctuary team have partnered with the Geneva Park District to offer local retailers an alternative to placing unsold Christmas trees in dumpsters and ultimately landfill.

The objective of the project, called “Tree-Cycle”, is twofold. The main objective is to keep trees out of landfills. The secondary advantage is that the resulting mulch can be used in all Geneva parks.

Carl Gorra, Superintendent of Parks and Properties at the Geneva Parks District, brings this idea to Geneva from his former municipality, where it was gratefully received. The idea just needed planning and coordination to come to fruition.

This is where the Green Sanctuary team comes in.

Local tree retailers will be visited / contacted by volunteers from the Green Sanctuary team. In partnership with Geneva Park District, they will offer to take back unsold trees and clippings.

Once the sales are over, the Park District will go to the retailer’s site and fragment them.

“It’s great for our trees which like a little acidic soil, like our young oaks in the parks,” Gorra said. “Smells wonderful needless to say! “

Retailers are encouraged to contact the Green Sanctuary team to participate in this effort. Their hope is to miss no one and make it an annual event.

If your business would like to take advantage of this free service for our community, contact [email protected]

Note: Geneva residents have the option of picking up trees through the city’s waste hauler, Lakeshore Recycling Systems.

This effort is strictly retail.

The Geneva Park District’s mission is to provide recreation programs, facilities and open spaces that will improve the quality of life for residents of all age groups and abilities. The park district minimizes its impact on the environment by implementing best practices and promoting environmental education leading to a lifelong commitment to conservation. Visit or call (630) 232-4542.

The Société Unitaire Universaliste de Genève, founded in 1842 and the oldest church in Geneva, is a diverse and welcoming community that strives to make its alliance a living reality. It offers religious education and opportunities for spiritual growth. They encourage individual and mutual responsibility as together they work to be a liberal religious voice in the community and a force for compassionate social justice. For more information visit