COVINGTON - Keep Georgia Beautiful is once again offering a way to get rid of that old Christmas tree and be a good steward of the environment by sponsoring the annual "Bring One for the Chipper" tree recycling event.
In Rockdale County, residents can drop off Christmas trees at The Home Depot, located at 1330 Dogwood Drive, starting Jan. 4. A corral will be set up in the parking lot, near the store's garden center.
The Rockdale County Recycling Center also accepts Christmas trees as part of its regular service to accept woody debris and yard waste from residents only.
All wood debris is mulched on site and is available free of charge to residents or local businesses. The center offers loading on Saturdays on a first-come, first-serve basis from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The recycling center can perform mulch loading during the week by reservation and self-loading of mulch is available during regular operating hours of the center, weather permitting.
The recycling center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 770-785-6883.
In Newton County, the event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 3 at The Home Depot, located at 13171 Industrial Park Blvd., the Oxford Maintenance Facility or any neighborhood recycling center.
Trees will be chipped into mulch to be used for public beautification projects or offered to citizens free of charge.
"Some people think they are ground on site and they get their own Christmas tree back (as mulch). They're actually chipped at the landfill," said Laurie Riley of Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful. Mulch is available to residents throughout the year at the landfill or the city of Covington 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. 3 only, while supplies are available.
Riley emphasized that only live trees will be accepted.
"It's just a way for them to have their trees not just thrown away. It's making another contribution to the environment," Riley said.
Staff Reporter Jay Jones contributed to this article.
Crystal Tatum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.