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Instead of throwing away your Christmas tree this year, recycle it into mulch or animal enrichment toys.

McDONOUGH — Now that Christmas is over and the ornaments and holiday decor are going back into storage, many of us are asking ourselves the annual question of what to do with the tree.

Instead of tossing it out in the trash, turn it into mulch that will be used to help keep flowers moist, soil cool and suppress weeds during the dog days of summer.

The Henry County Recycling Center, 65 West Asbury Road in McDonough, accepts trees at no cost Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center will be close on New Year’s Day.

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, 712 LG Griffin Road in Locust Grove, accepts trees that are given to the facility’s animals for enrichment. All trees must be clear of lights, ornaments, garland and tinsel and can be dropped off at the Welcome Center Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 pm. They will be closed on New Year’s Day.

The Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation is hosting its annual Bring One for the Chipper event in Clayton County on Jan. 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Riverdale Town Center, 7210 Church St. in Riverdale.

The event will also be held on Jan. 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Home Depot, 1330 Dogwood Drive in Conyers.

All trees must be free of lights and ornaments. The trees will be turned into mulch with gets donated to playgrounds, government beautification projects, parks and individual yards.

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