It has been 22 years since Keep Warner Robins Beautiful started their annual tree recycling program.
During that time, thousands of what had been Christmas trees have been recycled, helping to add to the environment while staying out of the landfills.
The annual Great Christmas Tree Round-Up will be held again this year. Used Christmas trees can now be deposited by the water tower on Maple Street.
The program was started in 1989, but it was in 1990 when Flint Energies joined as a sponsor that the initiative really took off. Since coming on board in 1990, Flint has donated 52,400 seedlings to be exchanged for Christmas trees. Along with paying for the seedling, Flint donates funds for the advertising of the event.
Most of the trees are chipped into mulch and used to keep city parks green and beautiful. The number of tons of mulch varies from year to year, but Debra Jones, director of Keep Warner Robins Beautiful, said it averages between 3 to 10 tons.
Some of the trees are used to improve the habitat of fish by being deposited into area lakes and streams. Almost all the trees donated prior to the Great Round-Up day are used for fish habitats.
Volunteers, usually Boy Scouts, take the trees and drop them into area lakes where their limbs will serve as breeding ground for fish for several years, until the tree begins to breakdown. Local landowners with private ponds also take the trees for the same reason.
“Flint is the secret behind the success,” said Jones. “Their support is invaluable.”
Marian Douglas, Flint Energies’ manager of public relations, said that Flint’s involvement with the Great Christmas Tree Roundup is just a natural fit for the Flint.
“We are very mindful of our environment,” Douglas said. “Environmental stewardship is near and dear to our heart. We have one planet to live on and we want to make sure it stays around.”
Seedlings vary each year, but usually recyclers can choose between a hardwood and a flowering tree such as a dogwood or crepe myrtle.
On Jan. 7, volunteers from Keep Warner Robins Beautiful will be exchanging trees for seedlings. While trees can be donated anytime after Christmas, Jan. 7 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. is the only day of the seedling exchange.
Any number of Christmas trees can be traded for seedlings; truckloads are welcome.
Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or email@example.com.