Trade old trees for new at recycling events in Bibb, Houston

awoolen@macon.comJanuary 1, 2013 

Oak and maple seedlings will be traded for Christmas trees at Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission’s annual Bring One for the Chipper event Saturday.

Participants also will receive a bag of mulch made from the old tree to use in their gardens.

“We’ve been doing this over 20 years,” said the group’s executive director, Pam Cars­well.

The event, which is 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Central City Park, is so large that there will be about 200 volunteers from 4-H, Boy Scouts and the Optimist Club helping. Five chippers will be there to handle the volume.

There are also seven other drop-off locations for those who want to get rid of their Christmas trees earlier. They include Kroger on Hartley Bridge Road, El Azteca on Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard, Home Depot on Presidential Parkway, Walmart on Gray Highway and Kroger on Pio Nono Avenue.

Bins at Wesleyan College and Kroger on Zebulon Road already are full and will have to be picked up this week before people can drop off more trees there.

However, the only way to get a seedling is to be at the park Saturday.

Carswell cautioned to have all lights and ornaments off the trees so no metal gets into the chipper, which could cause injury.

“We don’t want our volunteers hurt,” she said.

Although no specific numbers from last year were available, the commission is expecting a good turnout.

“It’s a huge event for us,” said Carswell, who has been with the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission since July.

In Houston County, Keep Warner Robins Beautiful has kept many used Christmas trees out of landfills for 23 years.

This year, as in previous years, the organization is also giving away a seedling to those who bring their trees to the Great Christmas Tree Round-up Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Maple Street near Perkins Park.

Most of the trees will be turned into mulch for parks in Warner Robins, according to a news release. Other trees will be used in lakes and streams in the area to provide a better habitat for fish.

Flint Energies sponsors the round-up by providing the seedlings as well as the chipper that mulches the Christmas trees.

“We feel it is important for our organization to be a part of the community we serve,” said David Carr, manager of energy services at Flint Energies.

Carr also said their 20-plus year support of the event is another way to help Keep Warner Robins Beautiful.

As in Macon, the trees must be stripped of ornaments and tinsel to be donated.

Trees can be dropped off near the water tower on Maple Street at any time, but Saturday is the only day to get a tree in return.

For more information on the Warner Robins event, contact Debra Jones at (478) 929-7258. For more information about the Macon event, contact Carswell at (478) 779-7413.

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