Merry Christmas! This special day is just a week away, so it is time to get your presents bought and wrapped. And just remember: Christmas is more than a day. It is a time to savor the wonderful feeling the season brings. Enjoy it, enjoy your family, and enjoy your faith! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could carry these warm feelings throughout the year?
I do get a little sad when it is time to take the decorations down, but when it is time to undeck the halls, it means it is also time to Bring One for the Chipper! It is Christmas tree recycling time. Each year, about 25 million live trees and 11 million artificial trees are purchased, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Live trees are a renewable resource, so you can feel good about using a live tree as long as you remember to turn it in for recycling after the holiday. Please don’t just toss that Christmas tree into the trash.
Remember, whether you take down your tree the day after Christmas or the first week of January that we want you to drop it off for recycling. On Jan. 7, we will chip all the trees collected into mulch or give them away for fish habitat in ponds. Help make sure your live tree does not become wasted.
Bring One for the Chipper is part of a statewide effort that began in 1991. Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation spearheads the project with several state corporate partners — Home Depot, The Davey Tree Expert Co., Ferry Morse Seed Co. and WXIA-TV. Locally, the event is sponsored by Keep Liberty Beautiful, Georgia Power, the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Liberty County Public Works Department, Fort Stewart Recycling Program and Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm.
Between Dec. 26 and Jan. 7, we will have a variety of locations around the county for turning in the trees for recycling. Hinesville residents can have their undecorated trees picked up at the curb. If you are unable to join us on Mulch Day, Jan. 7, you can also deposit your tree in a designated location at any Liberty County Solid Waste convenience center or recycling drop-off center between Dec. 26 and Jan. 7 at:
• 25 South Dairy Road (Gum Branch)
• 156 Pate Rogers Road (Fleming)
• 836 Limerick Road (Lake George)
• 64 Left Field Road (Miller Park)
• 619 J V Road (west of Hinesville)
• 50 Isle of Wight Road (Midway)
• 344 Fort Morris Road (near Sunbury)
• 111 Carter Road
• 129 Sandy Run
• 941 E G Miles Parkway (at Training Center)
• Walthourville Public Works site
• 4000 Coastal Hwy (Riceboro)
• Fort Stewart PX
• Liberty County Health Department 1113 East Oglethorpe Hwy
The chipping day will be 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Liberty County Health Department at the corner of Hwy 84 and Patriot’s Trail. The Mulch Day is a fun day for everyone, so drop by and bring your tree. Citizens who drop by will receive oak and dogwood seedlings and vegetable and flower seeds, while supplies last. We will have several hundred seedlings. Take home several to plant to increase our tree canopy again after the many trees were lost during Hurricane Matthew.
Trees dropped off must be undecorated and free of any binding. Georgia Power graciously provides the equipment and manpower to mulch the trees for our county and those decorations can really be a problem when the trees are going through the chipper. Decorations do not make good mulch, so remember to undecorate your trees.
The chipper program has significant environmental benefits for our county and the 120 other Georgia communities that participate each year. Christmas tree recycling is a simple and effective program that benefits all of us. Please give this gift to nature this year. It is one present that will not need any wrapping. For information, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org check out information on www.keeplibertybeautiful.org.
Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.