Christmas trees can be recycled locally

COVINGTON - If you can hold off a little while before discarding the Christmas tree, Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful and Keep Conyers-Rockdale Beautiful are offering a solution that will also benefit the environment.

As part of a statewide effort to recycle Christmas trees, Keep Georgia Beautiful at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs has joined with sponsors The Home Depot, 11 Alive and the Davey Tree Expert Company to sponsor the Bring One for the Chipper program.

In Covington, the event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 5 at Home Depot at 13171 Industrial Park Blvd. and at local neighborhood recycling centers.

Trees will be chipped into mulch to be used for public beautification projects or offered to residents free of charge. Residents may also bring trees to any neighborhood recycling center.

In appreciation of their recycling efforts, participants will receive a free dogwood seedling. Recycling centers will accept trees any day, but seedlings will be available Jan. 5 only, while supplies last.

"Bring One for the Chipper gives Newton County citizens the opportunity to participate in a holiday tradition that helps our environment," said Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful's Laurie Riley. "Old trees that were otherwise useless can now be used again as mulch."

Also on Jan. 5, Newton County residents can dispose of pesticides and recycle paint and electronics at the Newton County Landfill on Lower River Road from 8 a.m. to noon. The county offers E-cycle and paint recycle services free to residents the first Saturday of each month.

In Rockdale County, Bring One for the Chipper will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., also on Jan. 5, at the Rockdale County Recycling Center at 1200 Sigman Road and during regular business hours at Home Depot on Dogwood Drive.

Trees will be accepted at the recycling center any Friday and Saturday that the center is open after Christmas, according to Holly Lafontaine, deputy director of public affairs and media relations for the county.

The center will have shortened hours from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Seedlings will be handed out Jan. 5 only, Lafontaine said.

Since 1991, Bring One for the Chipper has collected more than 4 million trees and provided more than 1 million tree seedlings to participants. In addition to providing environmental benefits, the program assists local governments in complying with state regulations that prohibit the disposal of yard trimmings in lined municipal landfills.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.