By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Volunteers enliven 'Chipper' effort
Recycled trees become mulch
Tree WEB 1
Kevin Smith unloads a Christmas tree Saturday at Vickery Creek Elementary School during a tree recycling event. - photo by Autumn Vetter

At a glance

Christmas trees still can be recycled at Forsyth County’s three convenience centers through Jan. 28.

The centers are open from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except for Jan. 16 in observance of the holiday.

Centers are at 351 Tolbert St., 3678 Old Atlanta Road and 3560 Settingdown Road.

As a vehicle approached with a 6-foot tall evergreen tied to its roof, a single word called the volunteers to action.

“Tree,” someone yelled, springing a group of Forsyth County 4-H Club members from out of a pile of Christmas trees to help the next person unload another one for recycling.

The annual Bring One for the Chipper event, sponsored locally by Keep Forsyth County Beautiful, drew hundreds of residents Saturday.

A wood chipper at three off-site locations processed the trees into mulch.

Trees have also been recycled at the county’s three convenience centers, which will continue to accept them through Jan. 28.

More than 6,000 trees were recycled during last year’s event in Forsyth County.

On Saturday, more than 400 post-holiday evergreens rested in a pile by early afternoon in the parking lot of Home Depot on Market Place Boulevard.

Rosie Reeves, a 4-H Club volunteer, said climbing through the green mound is the most fun part of spending a day helping folks recycle.

Her sister, Holly Jo Reeves, said they’ve been volunteering for three years at the event, which she explained is beneficial for the environment.

“Then you can use it for something else,” she said of the mulch from the trees.

Resident Carol Gombos dropped off her Christmas centerpiece with help from the 4-Hers.

Gombos said she brings the live tree to the event each year after the holidays.

“I feel it’s much better than having it sit in a landfill,” she said.

Driving up to the Vickery Creek Elementary School drop-off site, Debby Cross said she decided to contribute after she saw the pile of trees from the road earlier this week.

“It’s just a good way to get rid of it,” Cross said.

At the school, more trees were lined up for the chipper than the previous year, said Kevin Smith, Keep Forsyth County Beautiful’s community outreach specialist.

“We’ve had a pretty steady trickle,” Smith said. “People know we’re doing this now.”

He added that those who arrived early were thrilled to receive a free crepe myrtle seedling to plant.

Volunteers at the school site also handed out pink reusable shopping bags from the Sawnee Women’s Club.

Tammie Fowler said members volunteer at the recycling event as a service project in the club’s conservation department.
Tree recycling fits in well with the group’s community outlook, Fowler said, and they paid it forward with a pink bag for those who participated.

Added member Jennifer Payne: “It’s a girl thing.”