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Clayton beautification group begins tree-recycling effort

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

With Christmas 2009 in the past, with the presents unwrapped and thoughts turning to ushering in 2010, local residents have begun dropping off their Christmas trees to be recycled into gardening mulch.

Keep Clayton County Beautiful, Inc., began its annual "Bring One for the Chipper" campaign Saturday at three drop-off sites in the county.

The effort will continue through Jan. 9, according to Keep Clayton County Beautiful, Inc., Executive Director Edie Yongue.

Last year, the organization recycled approximately 17,000 trees through the effort, according to Yongue.

"People need to have a place to dispose of their old Christmas trees without putting them on the side of the road," Yongue said. "Eventually, the trees dry out and pose a fire hazard. You don't want those trees catching on fire when they are dry. You get this huge flash, because they catch on fire very quickly."

The locations of the sites where people can drop off their Christmas trees through Jan. 9 are: Riverdale Middle School, which is located at 400 Roberts Road, in Riverdale; Kemp Elementary School, which is located at 10990 Folsom Road, in Hampton, and a vacant lot next to Suder Elementary School, which is located at 1400 Lake Jodeco Road, in Jonesboro.

By Monday afternoon, stacks of nearly a dozen trees had already begun forming at some of the early drop-off sites.

The one-day-only, Jan. 9 drop-off sites are: the Clayton County Recycling Center, which is located at 1430 Ga. Highway 138, in Jonesboro, as well as four local Home Depots that are located at 2034 Mt. Zion Road, in Morrow; 11075 Tara Blvd., in Lovejoy; 680 Lamar Hutcheson Parkway, in Riverdale, and at 3885 Jonesboro Road, in Forest Park.

"We will be giving out garden supplies, which consist of various flower and vegetable seeds, to anyone who drops off their trees at any of the Home Depots on Jan. 9," Yongue said. "We're also going to go by the honor system, so if someone drops their tree off before Jan. 9, they can still come up to one of the Home Depots and tell us they did so, and they'll receive some seeds."

The seeds will be provided by a seed company that works with Home Depot, Yongue said.

She also said the North Atlanta office for lawn care company, Davey Tree, will collect the trees that are dropped off, and use wood chippers to turn them into mulch that can be distributed, for free, to people who request it.

Request forms can be picked up at the drop-off sites, she said.

The forms must be sent to Davey Tree, complete with directions to the requestee's home, and the number of truckloads he or she wishes to receive. Davey Tree will deliver the mulch to the home of the person who requests it.

"If you want a [truck] load of mulch, you have to take the full load, and all dumping is final," Yongue said. "We're not going to take it back, once you've received it."