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Bring One for the Chipper after Christmas
Keep Liberty Beautiful
Chipper McIver
One for the Chipper: The state mascot for the Bring One for the Chipper recycling program, Chipper, visited our community this past weekend to participate in the annual Christmas Parade. Pictured: Chipper inspects a Christmas tree with Liberty County Commission Chairman John McIver. - photo by Photo provided.
The Christmas tree is such an important symbol in our celebration of Christmas.  The tradition of the Christmas tree comes to us from Germany. Martin Luther is credited with being inspired by the starry heavens one night, and expressing his feelings to his family by bringing a fir tree into his home, and attaching lighted candles to its branches. Fir meant fire, and fire is an ancient symbol for spirit.
Evergreens were thought to represent the ever-burning fire of life. The color green signified the life force through the year. The star that radiates from the top reminds us of Bethlehem. The entire tree and decorations teach us that the universe is witness to the Incarnation. What a lovely remembrance of Christ’s birth.
Once Christmas has passed, though, your Christmas tree can still be a symbolic gesture by being recycled as a gift to nature that keeps on giving. By recycling your live Christmas tree, you can help provide useful mulch or a fish habitat—both are beneficial for our environment.
Bring One for the Chipper is a statewide annual event sponsored by Keep Georgia Beautiful, Home Depot, The Davey Tree Expert Company and WXIA-TV.  Locally, our friends at Georgia Power Company, the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Ft. Stewart DPW Environmental Division, the Liberty County Solid Waste Department, City of Hinesville Public Works/OMI, Goodwill Industries, and the Keep Ft. Stewart/Hunter Beautiful Program are partnering with Keep Liberty County Beautiful to provide a local Christmas tree recycling effort and a special electronics recycling collection day.
Trees can be deposited between Dec. 26 and Jan. 5 in the designated locations at the old hospital site, the Fort Stewart collection point on Hero Road or at any Liberty County Solid Waste Convenience Center or Recycling Drop-off Center during normal operation hours.
In Hinesville, residents can leave their undecorated trees at the road for pickup. Our friends at OMI will deliver the trees to the Chipper location.
On Jan. 5, Liberty County residents are invited to drop off their trees at the old hospital site on the corner of Highway 84 and Fraser Drive in Hinesville between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Trees can also be turned in at the recycling yard at Fort Stewart between 9 a.m. and 12 noon. All participants will receive a tree seedling in exchange for each tree brought in on Jan. 5, while our seeding supplies last. The mulch made from the trees will also be available on a first come first serve basis. Local residents can also pick up trees to deposit in local ponds for fish habitat.
Also on Jan. 5 , any electronics can also be turned in for recycling at the two sites. This is sort of a “in with the new and out with the old day” for electronics.  Since all these new technology items are such popular Christmas gifts, we decided to have a special ‘after the holiday’ recycling collection.  So bring in your old computers, laptops, cell phones, PDAs, ipods, working televisions, etc. Turn them in now before they start taking up space in closets, drawers and storage rooms.
We really appreciate Fort Stewart DPW Environmental Division and Goodwill Industries for partnering with us in this effort. Electronics account for 70 percent of the toxins that accumulate in landfills, so PLEASE do not just throw these items away.
Both of these programs have significant environmental benefits for our county.   In the last year we have recycled over nine tons of electronics through these special collection days. Last year we recycled 700 trees in our community and, of course, we want to make sure that we recycle even more this year. We need your help to make sure that these trees and electronics are reused or recycled properly. Please give this gift to nature this year. It is a present that we can all live with.
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