The new year is a wonderful time because it signals a chance for new beginnings. It gives us a chance to have a fresh start on some of things that maybe we have not handled as well as we wished in 2012.
I know the usual suspects may be on your list of 2013 resolutions: lose weight, be more organized and exercise more. However, let me suggest one that you might actually keep! This is a great time to start recycling, and let me tell you, it is a lot easier than losing weight!
Recycling is easy if you start with one or two items that you use frequently in your home or office. Check out our Keep liberty Beautiful Facebook page or our website for ideas.
Here is an easy item to recycle right now: recycle your Christmas tree by Jan. 12 with the annual Bring One for the Chipper event. Your Christmas tree can enjoy an “afterlife” as useful mulch or even as fish habitat in a local pond.
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 it in for recycling after the holiday. The first step is to “undecorate” your tree. Decorations can jam the mulching equipment that Georgia Power Company, one of our annual sponsors, provides.
The next step is to drop your tree off at a local county solid-waste convenience center or recycling drop-off site through Jan. 11, or bring it to our Mulch Day event Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Liberty County Health Department. Hinesville residents can leave their undecorated trees on the curb for pick-up by the city public works department. Walthourville residents can drop off their undecorated trees at the city public works site on Harlan Road.
Here are the county drop-off sites where trees can be deposited during normal business hours:
• 25 South Dairy Road (SR 196W, Gum Branch)
• 156 Pate Rogers Road (Fleming)
• 836 Limerick Road (near Lake George)
• 64 Left Field Road (Highway 84, Miller Park)
• 619 J.V. 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 (SR 196W at Training Center)
• 4000 Coastal Highway (Highway 17 in Riceboro)
• Walthourville public works on Harlan Road
• Liberty County Health Department, 1113 East Oglethorpe Highway
Our Mulch Day event runs from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. All participants will receive a tree seedling and heirloom tomato seeds in exchange for each tree brought in while supplies last. Our sponsors, Georgia Forestry Commission and Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm, will be on hand to answer questions about planting and growing the tree seedlings.
Our mascot, Chipper, will be with us to greet and thank all of our participants with some recycling giveaways, so please join us.
The drive is part of a statewide effort that began in 1991. Why do we do it? There are many good reasons:
• To raise awareness about environmental concerns and solutions.
• To increase citizen involvement in solutions that help reduce solid waste. Our everyday choices about what we buy and use and then how we dispose of items determine how much waste is accumulated
• 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.
• To produce useful mulch for home and community projects. By mulching the trees that are turned in, we can offer free mulch to local citizens to enhance their landscapes and prevent soil erosion.
• To give out tree seedlings and tomato seeds to encourage planting.
The 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.
So don’t trash that tree! Start the year off right by recycling! Watch out, though — because recycling is habit forming!
Upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful events:
• Through Dec 31: Win-dex Award nominations are accepted. Nominate your favorite attractive businesses. For more information, call 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• No gifts of litter on our roads, please: When you are “undecking your Christmas halls,” recycle all the Christmas garbage that you can, save any items you can reuse next year and tie garbage bags tightly! Secure your trash load in your vehicle or garbage cans so that you do not give the environment an unwanted gift of more litter on our roads.
• Jan. 15-Feb. 15: Phone book recycling. We will set up collection boxes around the county for recycling phone books and large catalogs. For information, call 880-4888.