I would stretch out the Christmas season as long as possible if I could. Instead of the "Twelve Days of Christmas," I would opt for the "Twelve Months of Christmas!" I love the lights, the decorations, the music and the wonderful feelings of cheerfulness at Christmas. People are nicer and friendlier during the holidays. I do get a little sad when I have to take the decorations down. But when it is time to do so, it means that it is also time for Bring One for the Chipper!
Yes, it is Christmas tree recycling time. Please don’t toss that Christmas tree in the trash. Live trees are a renewable resource so you can feel good about using a live tree at Christmas as long as you remember to turn them in for recycling after the holiday. On Jan. 8, we will "chip" all those trees into useful mulch or give them away for use as fish habitats in local ponds. This year’s Christmas trees will live on in a very useful way.
Bring One for the Chipper is part of a statewide effort that began in 1991. Keep Georgia Beautiful spearheads the project with state corporate partners Home Depot, The Davey Tree Expert Company and WXIA-TV. Locally, the annual event is sponsored by Keep Liberty Beautiful, the Georgia Power Company, the Georgia Forestry Commission and Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm.
Why do we do it? There are many good reasons:
• To promote awareness about the benefits of trees. Trees help clean the air and keep the air cool. So for each tree turned in for recycling, we also give out tree seedlings for planting.
• To raise awareness about environmental concerns and solutions. Recycling is one of the easiest ways that local citizens can make a positive difference in our environment every day.
• To increase citizen involvement in solutions that help to reduce solid waste. You and I are the solution to waste reduction. Our everyday choices about what we buy and what we use and how we dispose of items determine how much waste is accumulated. I don’t think you want to live in a "trashy world" any more than I do.
• To support the state yard trimmings disposal ban by recycling these trees instead of putting them in landfills. About 20 percent of the stuff in landfills already is organic and could have been composted or disposed of more effectively. Let’s try to recycle these trees so they can be reused purposefully as mulch or fish habitats or even chopped up for firewood at your home.
• To produce useful mulch for home and community projects for soil enhancement and erosion control. By mulching the trees that are turned in, we can offer free mulch to local citizens to enhance their landscapes and to prevent soil erosion.
• To give out tree seedlings — and vegetable seeds this year, courtesy of Ferry-Morse — for planting in exchange for recycled trees to beautify our community and to encourage planting.
Between Dec. 26 and Jan. 7, we will have 13 locations set up around the county for turning in trees to be recycled. Hinesville residents also can call and have their undecorated trees picked up by OMI. If you are unable to join us on our main "mulch day" on Jan. 8, you can also deposit your tree in the designated location at any Liberty County Solid Waste Convenience Center or recycling drop off center during normal operation hours between Dec. 26 and Jan. 7. These locations are:
• 25 South Dairy Road (Highway 196 West in Gum Branch)
• 156 Pate Rogers Road (Fleming)
• 836 Limerick Road (near Lake George)
• 64 Left Field Road (Highway 84, Miller Park)
• 619 JV Road (west of Hinesville)
• 50 Isle of Wight Road (Midway area)
• 344 Fort Morris Road (east end ,near Sunbury)
• 111 Carter Road (behind Poole’s Deli)
• 129 Sandy Run (off Highway 84)
• 941 E.G. Miles Parkway (Highway 196 West at training center)
• 200 Talmadge Road (behind Walthourville City Hall)
• 4000 Coastal Highway (Highway 17 in Riceboro)
• New location in Hinesville: corner of Carter Street and Oglethorpe Highway.
At our new drop-off site in Hinesville at the corner of Carter Street and Highway 84, we will have our annual chipping day from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8. Please note: this is a new location for the main drop-off site. It is just a few blocks from our former location and we sincerely thank the Carters for letting us use this site. The mulch day is a fun day for everyone, so please drop by and bring your tree. All participants will receive a tree seedling and vegetable seeds in exchange for each tree brought in, while our supplies last. Please remember to remove all decorations from your tree before dropping it off. Those decorations can really be a problem when the trees are going through the chipper. Decorations do not make good mulch.
The chipper program has significant environmental benefits for our county and the 120-plus other Georgia communities that participate each year. The chipper is a simple but effective program that benefits all of us. Please give a gift to nature this year. It is one present that will not need any wrapping, thank goodness!
Don’t forget these
• Through Dec. 31: Win-dex Attractive Businesses of the Quarter nomination period. To nominate a worthy business, call KLB at 880-4888 or e-mail email@example.com.
• No "gifts" of litter on our roads, please! When you are "undecking" your Christmas halls, recycle all the garbage you can, save any items you can reuse next year and tie off garbage bags tightly. Secure your trash loads in your vehicle or garbage cans so that you do not give the environment an unwanted gift of more litter on our roads.
For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 880-4888.