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What are your Christmas tree recycling choices?

After the holidays, don’t throw your natural tree away! Here are some tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays. In general, you have these options: Curbside pick-up for recycling – Barnesville will be starting Monday December 29 picking up trees curbside. They will then haul them off to the landfill spot where they will eventually be grinded, mulched, and somehow reused. The waste department would like you to remove all ornaments, lights, and tinsel. Call for an appointment to have a non-profit in your area pickup your tree. Some boy scout troops have been known to offer pickup service for a small donation (often $5). Take your tree to a drop off recycling center. Most counties have free drop-off locations throughout the county. “Bring One For The Chipper” is popular in middle Georgia and the following drop-off locations are easily accessible: Highway 109 West Zebulon, GA 30295 120 North Lee Street Forsyth, GA 31029 841 South McDonough Road Griffin, GA 30223 610 Carver Road Griffin, GA 30224 3865 Jackson Road Griffin, GA 30223 5756 Newnan Road Griffin, GA 30224 Cut the tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container if you don’t want to leave it sitting unsightly on your curb. Other Tips and Ideas Removing the tree: The best way to avoid a mess removing your tree is to place a plastic tree bag (which are available at hardware stores) underneath the stand when you set the tree up! You can hide it with a tree skirt. Then, when the holidays are done, pull the bag up around the tree, stand and all, and carry it outside. Obviously, you will want to remove the stand before recycling the tree. If some needles do scatter inside, it is better to sweep them up; as needles can clog vacuum cleaners. Soil erosion barriers: Some communities use Christmas trees to make effective sand and soil erosion barriers, especially at for lake and river shoreline stabilization and river delta sedimentation management (Louisiana does both). Fish feeders: Sunk into private fish ponds trees make excellent refuge and feeding area for fish. Bird feeders: Place the Christmas tree in the garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary. Fresh orange slices or strung popcorn will attract the birds and they can sit in the branches for shelter. (Make sure all decorations, hooks, garland and tinsel strands are removed). Eventually (within a year) the branches will become brittle and you can break the tree apart by hand or chip it in a chipper. Mulch: A Christmas tree is biodegradable; its branches may be removed, chipped, and used as mulch in the garden. If you have a neighbor with a chip, see if he will chip it for you. Paths for Hiking Trails: Some counties use the shredded trees as a free, renewable and natural path material that fits both the environment and the needs of hikers! Living, rooted trees: Of course, next year, you could get a rooted (ball and burlapped or containerized) tree and then plant it in your yard after Christmas (It’s a good idea to pre-dig the hole in the late Fall while the soil is still soft, then plant the tree into that hole immediately after Christmas.) NOTE: Living trees have a better survival rate in mild climates, than in a northern area. Important: Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove. Pines, firs and other evergreens have a high content of flammable turpentine oils. Burning the tree may contribute to creosote buildup and risk a chimney fire.

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