If you have not taken down your Christmas decorations yet, you are not alone. I like to stretch the Christmas season out as long as possible. I do not like the “undecorating” part, which is not nearly as fun as decorating. But there is one good thing about this time of year. You can join more than 100,000 other Georgians by “treecycling” your live Christmas tree.
Don’t just toss that Christmas tree into the trash! On Jan. 11, we will chip all those trees into useful mulch or give them away for use as fish habitats in local ponds. This year’s mulched Christmas trees can be gifts that keep on giving. 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.
“Bring One for the Chipper” is part of a statewide effort that began in 1991. For more than 20 years, the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation has spearheaded the project with several state corporate partners — The Home Depot, The Davey Tree Expert Company, Ferry Morse Seed Company and WXIA-TV. Locally, this annual event is sponsored by Keep Liberty Beautiful, Georgia Power Company, the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Liberty County Public Works Department and Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm.
Trees are a renewable resource. About 20 percent of the stuff in landfills is organic and could have been composted or disposed of more effectively. Let’s not add thousands of Christmas trees to that.
Through Jan. 11, you can turn in your tree at any of the following locations around the county. Hinesville residents also can have their undecorated trees picked up by OMI.
• 25 South Dairy Road (state route 196 West, 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 ( state route 196W at Training Center)
• Walthourville Public Works site
• 4000 Coastal Highway (Highway 17 in Riceboro)
• Fort Stewart PX
• Main location in Hinesville: The Liberty County Health Department (corner of Highway 84 and Patriot’s Trail)
At our chipper mulch site in Hinesville at the Liberty County Health Department, we will have our annual chipping day from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11. All participants will receive tree seedlings and vegetable seeds in exchange for each tree brought in, while our supplies last. Remember, all trees dropped off must be undecorated and free of any binding. Those decorations can really be a problem when the trees are going through the chipper. Decorations do not make good mulch, so please remember to “undecorate” those trees.
The chipper program has significant environmental benefits for our county and the 120-plus other Georgia communities that participate each year. It’s a simple and effective environmental program that benefits all of us. Join us by making all of Liberty County’s live Christmas trees last all year long as mulch, which, in a manner of speaking, is a neat way to make Christmas last all year long. Just think — when you walk by a flower bed, you may hear the blossoms humming “Jingle Bells.”