Happy New Year!
Why not begin 2016 with a green blast by joining us as we bring one — or a thousand or so, actually — to the Chipper!
It is time to “undeck the halls,” and that means that live Christmas tree has to go. Please don’t just toss that Christmas tree into the trash. It is Christmas tree recycling time.
On Saturday, we will “chip” all the trees turned in for recycling into useful mulch, or we can give them away to local citizens for fish habitat in local ponds. So this year’s mulched Christmas trees can be gifts that keep on giving.
Recycling your live Christmas tree is an environmentally friendly way to start the new year right. If you have been thinking about recycling, add it to your 2016 resolutions. Recycling your live, undecorated tree is a great way to start the process. Christmas trees are a renewable resource, and by mulching them, we add additional value to their life.
“Bring One for the Chipper” is a great way to raise awareness about environmental concerns and solutions. Recycling is one of the easiest ways we can all make a positive difference for our environment every day. Mulching these trees, rather than tossing them into landfills, also reduces the amount of yard waste in crowded landfills.
So, if you have never recycled, start with your Christmas tree. This mulch will be available during the year 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 prevent soil erosion (after the mulch has “baked” a little).
Locally, this annual event is sponsored by Keep Liberty Beautiful, Georgia Power, the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Liberty County Public Works Department, Fort Stewart Recycling Program, Walthourville Public Works, Hinesville Public Works Department and Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm.
“Bring One for the Chipper” is part of a statewide effort that began in 1991. The Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation spearheads the project with several state corporate partners — Home Depot, Davey Tree Expert Co., Ferry Morse Seed Company and WXIA-TV of Atlanta. About 120 communities in Georgia participate each year.
Tree seedlings — and this year, vegetable seeds, courtesy of Ferry-Morse — are given in exchange for recycled trees to beautify our community and encourage planting.
Through Saturday, we will have a number of locations around the county for turning in the trees for recycling. Citizens in Hinesville can have their undecorated trees picked up by OMI. If you are unable to join us on our main “Mulch Day” on Saturday, 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 operating hours through Friday. All of the following locations have drop off sites:
• 25 South Dairy Road (Highway 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 (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)
• Walthourville Public Works site
• 4000 Coastal Highway 17 (Riceboro)
• Fort Stewart PX
• Main location: Liberty County Health Department (chipping on Saturday).
At our chipper mulch site at the Liberty County Health Department (1113 E. Oglethorpe Highway) at the corner of Highway 84 and Patriots Trail in Flemington, we will have our annual chipping day from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday. The Mulch Day is fun day for everyone, so please drop by and bring your tree. All participants will receive dogwood tree seedlings and vegetable and flower seeds while supplies last.
Remember: all trees dropped off must be undecorated and free of any binding. Georgia Power graciously provides the equipment and manpower to mulch all 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 please remember to “undecorate” and unbind those trees.
Begin the new year by giving your live Christmas tree a second life of value by bringing it to the chipper this week.
For more information, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.keeplibertybeautiful.org.
Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.