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Christmas trees get new life as mulch

Bring One for the Chipper

POSTED: January 13, 2010 10:24 a.m.
Photo by Sara Swida/

Frank Gibson, Larry McDonald and David Sapp chip trees during Saturday's Bring One for the Chipper in Hinesville.

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Keep Liberty County Beautiful’s Bring One For The Chipper ended Saturday with more than 750 trees being recycled in Liberty County. KLCB Director Sara Swida estimated roughly 10,000 pounds of mulch were made from the weeklong collection effort.
The tree collection campaign has been a fixture in the county since it first became a statewide effort in 1991. “Keep Georgia Beautiful spearheads the project with state corporate sponsors,” Swida said, including the Home Depot, The Davey Tree Expert and WXIA TV.
“We could not have done this event each year without our local partners — Georgia Power Company and its contractor, Asplundh Tree Service, the Liberty County Solid Waste Department, Brewers Christmas Tree Farm and the Georgia Forestry Commission,” she said.
Of the 772 trees that were collected from Liberty County recycling locations and the central chipping location, about 25 went to local ponds for reuse as fish habitats.
Swida notes there are several benefits to recycling trees rather than sending them to landfills. Among them are promoting awareness about the benefits of trees, supporting the state’s yard-trimmings disposal ban and producing mulch that enhances the soil and controls erosion.
Residents who participated in Saturday’s drop-off received a sapling in exchange for their contribution. Swida said this way, for every tree that’s used at Christmas, another is planted. “It’s a great way to keep trees growing and get people involved in beautifying the community,” she said.
KLCB is also sponsoring another recycling effort — this time for phone books and large catalogs. Collection boxes can be found in municipal offices, the Liberty County school board building and the YMCA though Feb.19. Businesses with large stores of these products can call the KLCB office to arrange a pickup time.
“Century Link has been going through storage and they are recycling about 15,000 books,” Swida said. “That’s a lot of paper that can be recycled over and over.” The paper will be recycled with the help of the Southeast Paper facility in Savannah.
For another tree-friendly community opportunity, Arbor Day is Feb. 19 in Georgia. “We have things like community tree planning; we usually have 50 or 60 organizations that try to plant trees,” Swida said.
For more information on events sponsored by Keep Liberty County Beautiful, contact Swida at the organization’s Midway office at 912-880-4888 or klcb@coastalnow.net.
 

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