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How to recycle those Christmas trees
Annual effort keeps growing
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Forsyth County News

At a glance
Drop off your tree at one of the following locations and times:

• Vickery Creek Elementary, 6280 Post Road
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 26 through Jan. 8

• Tolbert Street Recycling Convenience Center, 351 Tolbert St.
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 27 through Jan. 22

• Old Atlanta Recycling Convenience Center, 3678 Old Atlanta Road
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 27 through Jan. 22

• Coal Mountain Recycling Convenience Center, 3560 Settingdown Road
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 27 through Jan. 22

• Home Depot, 1000 Market Place Blvd.
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 8

• Home Depot, 2635 Peachtree Pkwy.
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 8

Note: County recycling centers will be closed New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Keep Forsyth County Beautiful’s popular “Bring One for the Chipper” tree recycling event begins today.

Tammy Wright, director of the county agency, said the annual program collects more trees with each passing year.

After all decorations and stands are removed, the trees are put through a chipper and turned into mulch.

“Recycling the trees is good for the environment and provides mulch to cover walking trails, as well as help the ground around plants retain moisture,” Wright said.

Trees will be accepted for recycling Monday through Jan. 22 at the county’s three recycling convenience centers, and today through Jan. 8 at Vickery Creek Elementary School.

The Home Depot stores on Market Place Boulevard and Hwy. 141 will be drop-off sites on Jan. 8, the date of the statewide Keep Georgia Beautiful Bring One for the Chipper event.

Chippers don’t break down the trees until the Saturday after New Year’s Day, when Wright said there’s usually already a huge pile of trees at the locations that accept them early.

“Most people take their trees down right after Christmas and a lot of people don’t want them sitting around,” she said. “A lot of people will drop their trees off before then because [Jan. 8] is so late.”

Staff and volunteers will work that day to help chip the trees.

Forsyth County 4-H members will volunteer at the Market Place Boulevard Home Depot, as they’ve done for the past few years, said 4-H agent Emily Harris.

She said the program fits well with the mission and goals of 4-H, a youth development club.

“Recycling and volunteering go perfectly with heart and hands,” she said, citing two of the 4 “H’s” in the club’s mission.

Also on the day of the statewide event, KFCB will give out red maple saplings to the first 500 people who drop off trees.

The distribution has long been a part of the state’s chipper program, Wright said. Due to budget cuts, however, the Georgia Forestry Commission is no longer able to provide them.

Forsyth County, however, has continued the tradition.

“It’s a cool thing to do for the community, so we just go ahead and buy them and give them away,” Wright said.

After Jan. 8, free mulch from the recycled trees will be made available for residents to pick-up on County Way off Ga. 400 in north Forsyth.

People can also request a truckload of mulch to be delivered through the Keep Georgia Beautiful Web site.

This statewide recycling effort started in 1991 in response to a Georgia law that prevented trees from going to regular landfills.
Forsyth County has participated every year since 1994.

Last year, residents dropped off 5,950 trees for recycling. Statewide, the program has handled about 5 million trees.

Environmentally-minded people have had an ongoing discussion about whether it’s better to use a real or artificial Christmas tree, Wright said.

She prefers to have a real tree and recycle it, but said there’s good arguments for why each type of tree is “greener.”