The fresh scent of pine trees lingered over part of Macon’s Central City Park on Thursday, where state probationers were preparing about 500 unused Christmas trees for a wood chipper.
But the unbought trees will be matched with hundreds of trees straight from people’s living rooms. Central City Park is one of at least two locations in the area where Christmas trees can be properly recycled.
Karen Lambert, president and CEO of Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful, said this year’s “Bring One For The Chipper!” efforts are the organization’s 20th annual event.
“A lot of trees, a lot of mulch, and we’ve saved a lot of room in the landfill,” Lambert said.
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Those trees are being accepted at eight spots around Bibb County through Friday, Jan. 6. The final roundup is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 7 at Central City Park behind Luther Williams Field.
The annual event from Keep Warner Robins Beautiful is even older, at 22 years. “The Great Christmas Tree Round-up” will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 7 under the water tower at Maple Street, when Flint Energies will offer a free tree seedling for each Christmas tree brought. People can drop trees off for most of January, but won’t get the seedlings on other days.
Debra Jones, director of the Warner Robins organization, said last year the organization collected some 31/2 tons -- about 500 trees -- to chip for beautification projects or area parks. Fishermen and Boy Scouts also grab some of the trees to help create fish habitats.
“We don’t care where it goes,” she says, as long as the trees get used.
Residents of the city of Macon can leave the trees on curbsides for pickup in the next week. But residents outside the city limits, or anyone else, can bring the trees to drop-off locations by Friday, Jan. 6.
Those places include Central City Park behind Luther Williams Field; the Kroger stores at 5928 Zebulon Road, 220 Tom Hill Sr. Blvd., and 4321 Hartley Bridge Road; Goodwill, 5171 Eisenhower Parkway; Home Depot, 4635 Presidential Parkway; Wal-Mart, 1401 Gray Highway; and Wesleyan College, 4760 Forsyth Road.
Laura Jackson, program manager for the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission, said vendors didn’t sell nearly as many trees as they expected. The state probationers were cutting off the blue rope wrappings around the trees Friday.
“We’ve already got a good number in Central City Park,” she said. “They’re already piling up.”
But the biggest day will be Jan. 7, when as many as another 1,000 trees will be dropped off in Central City Park, she said.
After that date, trees may be taken to the entrance to the Macon landfill, where they’ll be mulched into a woodpit rather than into the landfill itself, she said.
Writer Alline Kent contributed to this report.