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Time to 'undeck' the halls and recycle
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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This is not my favorite part of the Christmas season. I try to stretch out Christmas as long as possible.
I love the lights, the decorations, the music and the wonderful feeling of ‘niceness’ at Christmas. People  — most people, at least  — are nicer and friendlier during the holiday season. They have that “Christmas cheer.” It would be great if we could bottle that up and keep it all year long.
The only thing that I get tired of at Christmas is wrapping presents. I do get a little sad when I have to take the decorations down. But when it is time to do so, it means that it is also time to ‘Bring One for the Chipper! It is Christmas tree recycling time.
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 for recycling after the holiday.
Bring One for the Chipper is part of a statewide effort that began in 1991. Keep Georgia Beautiful spearheads the project with state corporate partners; Home Depot, The Davey Tree Expert Company and WXIA-TV. Locally, this annual event is sponsored by Keep Liberty Beautiful, Georgia Power Company, the Georgia Forestry Commission and Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm.
Why do we do it? There are many good reasons:
• To promote awareness about the benefits of trees. Trees help clean the air and keep the air cool. So we give out tree seedlings for planting for each tree turned in for recycling.
• To raise awareness about environmental concerns and solutions. Recycling is one of the easiest ways that you can make a positive difference for our environment every day.
• To increase citizen involvement in solutions that help to reduce solid waste.  You — and I — are the solution to waste reduction. Our everyday choices about what we buy and what we use and then how we dispose of items determine how much waste is accumulated. I don’t think you want to live in a “trash world” any more than I do.
• 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. Let’s try to recycle these trees so that they can be reused purposefully as mulch or fish habitat or even chopped up for firewood at your home.
• To produce useful mulch 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 landscape and to prevent soil erosion.
• To give out tree seedlings — and this year also vegetable seeds, courtesy of Ferry-Morse — for planting in exchange for recycled trees to beautify our community and to encourage planting.
Until Jan. 8, we have 13 locations around the county for turning in the trees for recycling. At our main drop-off at the old hospital site on Highway 84 in Hinesville, we will have our annual chipping day from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9.  This is a fun day for everyone, so please drop by and bring your tree. All participants will receive a tree seedling and vegetable seeds in exchange for each tree brought in, while our supplies last. Mulch will also be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please remember to remove all decorations from your tree before dropping it off. 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.
If you are unable to join us on Jan. 9, you can also deposit your tree in the designated location at the old hospital site or at any Liberty County convenience center or recycling drop-off center during normal operation hours between until Jan. 8. These locations are:
• 25 South Dairy Road (Highway 196, 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 Hwy 84)
• 941 E G Miles Parkway (Highway 196 at Training Center)
• 200 Talmadge Road (behind Walthourville City Hall)
• 4000 Coastal Hwy (Hwy 17 in Riceboro)
Hinesville residents can call and have their undecorated trees picked up by OMI, if they choose. We can also supply trees for local ponds to be used as fish habitat. If you would like to get some trees for your pond, just give me a call at 368-4888.
The chipper program has significant environmental benefits for our county and the 120 plus other Georgia communities that participate each year. It also helps local government comply with state regulations that prohibit the disposal of yard trimmings in lined municipal landfills. The chipper is a simple, but effective program that benefits all of us.

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Swida at 368-4888 or
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