The Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation is encouraging those with real Christmas trees to bring them to one of their affiliate sites to be chipped up and recycled starting on Dec. 26.
Bring One for the Chipper has been running for over 30 years, servicing over 30 different counties throughout Georgia. The purpose of the event is to collect used Christmas trees for recycling purposes. The trees are chipped into mulch that is given away freely to anyone in the community who may need it. Locals use the pine mulch for their gardens, flower beds and other landscaping projects.
Deputy Supervisor for Solid Waste Sanitation in Hall County Bobby Purdum said recycling old trees is a far better option than letting them pack the landfills.
“The event’s really neat, we kind of take a perspective of trying not to throw things away in our landfills and that kind of thing,” Purdum said. “It's a way to take some discarded things that we would typically throw away, because people take their trees down. And what do they do with them? Well, they can actually bring them to any of our 12 compactor sites that are located around Hall County.”
The tree recycling event only accepts real trees, and asks that trees be brought without any lights or old ornaments on them, as it can damage the wood chipper.
“Residents can come to the landfill, bring a vehicle, grab what [mulch] they need and then take it away for free,” Purdum said. “And not to mention that the Christmas trees when they're chopped up, they smell really good.”
Bring One for the Chipper is sponsored by businesses like The Home Depot, The Davey Tree Expert Company, Georgia Forestry Commission and WXIA-TV, allowing for a statewide effort. Hall County continues to have a strong yearly turnout, with hundreds of locals dropping off their old trees for recycling.
“I would always say we at least recycle 300 to 400 trees every year—at least,” Purdum said.
When all Georgia counties are tallied with the totals from previous years, the event has recycled over 6 million trees.
The Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation works closely with their affiliate Keep Hall County Beautiful, as well as other affiliates such as Keep Forsyth County Beautiful. All recycling locations hand out the resulting pine mulch on a first-come-first-served basis. The Hall County event will run from Dec. 26 until Jan. 6, while the event in Forsyth County will operate from Dec. 26 until Jan. 28.
In Hall County specifically, there are 13 compactor sites, with locations on Thompson Bridge Road, Chestnut Street, Atlanta Highway, and Gaines Ferry Road, just to name a few. You can visit the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation website for a complete list of compactor recycling sites, operation times and dates.