Rather than simply burning it or tossing it into a dumpster, Keep Carroll Beautiful recommends that you recycle it by taking it to “Bring One for the Chipper” disposal sites or one of the local government sites.
For early Christmas tree disposers, Carroll County and the city of Carrollton offer an easy alternative.
“As of Dec. 26, you can take your undecorated tree to any of the Carroll County convenience centers for recycling,” said Jacqueline Dost, Keep Carroll Beautiful executive director. “If you live in the Carrollton city limits, just put the tree on the curb on the regular trash recycling day and the city will pick it up.”
Dost said the city and county use the mulch from the chipped Christmas trees for various beautification and soil erosion prevention projects.
However, for people who don’t need immediate tree disposal, the official “Bring One for the Chipper” day will be Jan. 5 at the Home Depot stores in Carrollton and Villa Rica from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We’ll have a tree chipper onsite at the Carrollton Home Depot, courtesy of Evergreen Tree Service of Carrollton,” she said. “Evergreen has been our partner for the past eight years, and Home Depot is the statewide partner with Keep Georgia Beautiful who started the Chipper program.”
She said Home Depot at Villa Rica will be taking the trees in for chipping, but will not have a chipper onsite.
Dost said before bringing the trees for chipping, be sure to remove them from their stands and take off all lights, ornaments and any silver tinsel.
Hundreds of Georgia communities participate in the Chipper program each year and, according to Keep Georgia Beautiful, an estimated 5.9 million Christmas trees have been recycled over the past 20 years the program has been in existence. The mulch has been used for playgrounds, local government beautification projects and individual yards.
Dost noted that in addition to chipping the trees for the mulch, trees can also be used whole in ponds and lakes for fish habitat.
Bassresource.com, an online resource for bass fishing enthusiasts, said old Christmas trees make especially good habitats for members of the sunfish family, such as largemouth bass, bluegill and crappies. Various methods exist for anchoring the trees so they will not float back to the top of the water. The recommended one is to anchor the tree, upright, to a concrete block. Groups of trees can also be bundled together, weighted and dropped to the lake bottom.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has collection sites at some large lakes across the United States. The collected Christmas trees are bundled together and submerged in lakes as designated fish shelters. These shelters provide fish with breeding areas, resting places and protection. They give young fish a safe place to feed on plankton and avoid becoming prey for larger fish.
For more information about “Bring One for the Chipper” and other recycling programs, visit www.keepcarrollbeautiful.org, or call 678-321-4816.