WARNER ROBINS -- Christmas came to an end Saturday under the water tower on Maple Street.
For the 23rd year, a steady stream of vehicles dropped off Christmas trees, most of which were chipped and turned to mulch.
The Great Christmas Tree Roundup is organized by Keep Warner Robins Beautiful in conjunction with Flint Energies. Each person who brought a tree had a choice between a crepe myrtle or river birch seedling, which Flint provided. The Pilot Club provided food for the volunteers.
Debra Jones, executive director of Keep Warner Robins Beautiful, estimated about six tons of trees were collected Saturday. Thats about twice last years take. It hasnt been unusual for the amount to fluctuate over the years, Jones said.
Some years she has wondered whether the convenience of artificial, pre-decorated trees was overcoming the tradition of live trees, then the next year there would seem to be a resurgence of people using live trees.
Many people dont take advantage of the roundup. Warner Robins residents can simply leave trees by the street to be picked up like any other yard waste, but those trees go to the landfill.
The purpose of the roundup is to keep trees out of the landfill. Trees that arent chipped are re-purposed in other ways, such as being put in ponds to provide habitat for aquatic life.
To try to keep as many trees as possible out of the landfills, volunteers also branched out on Saturday and picked up trees that had been left by the street. One of those volunteers was City Attorney Jim Elliott and his son, who picked up about 20 trees.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.