Bring one for the chipper

Tue, 12/26/2006 - 3:34pm
By: The Citizen

Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Mike Beatty recently called on Georgia families to make “environmentally-friendly” post-Christmas disposal plans by participating in the state’s 17th annual Bring One for the Chipper recycling program.

"Bring One for the Chipper" is Georgia's annual Christmas tree recycling program. Each year, Keep Georgia Beautiful works with private sponsors to organize a number of tree recycling events around the state.

For the 2006-post holiday efforts, nearly 380 tree collection sites will be available statewide, including 145 in the metropolitan Atlanta area. As days of operation for collection sites vary, Georgians are encouraged to visit or call (800) CLEAN-UP for the most up-to-date information.

Since its inception in 1991, Keep Georgia Beautiful’s "Bring One for the Chipper" program has collected nearly 4.5 million trees and provided over 1 million tree seedlings to program participants. More than 226,600 trees were recycled statewide in 2006.

"Bring One For The Chipper" has become a holiday tradition for many Georgia families. Recycling the Christmas tree provides a wonderful opportunity for families to discuss taking care of our environment and practice those principles by recycling their tree and planting a new seedling,” said DCA Commissioner Mike Beatty.

Governor Sonny and First Lady Mary Perdue are also big supporters of the Bring One for the Chipper program. Each year, Christmas trees from the Governor’s Mansion are taken to The Home Depot’s Cumberland Parkway store in Atlanta for recycling.

“This innovative program also provides local governments with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to good environmental stewardship and utilize trees in a way that complies with state regulations for the disposal of yard trimmings,” said Randy Hartmann, DCA’s Director – Environmental Programs.

Georgia implemented a statewide yard trimming ban in 1996. Over the past ten years, many Georgia communities have developed ongoing programs to dispose of yard waste, including Christmas trees. The "Bring One for the Chipper" program provides an important complement to local efforts. Program organizers work with communities each year to ensure that program participation remains popular.

In preparation for the 2007 tree collection effort, Keep Georgia Beautiful purchased 40,000 tree seedlings for donation to participants. Seedlings were purchased from the Georgia Forestry Commission, which packaged and distributed the seedlings to forestry agents and collection sites statewide.

The Forestry Commission donated an additional 5,000 seedlings to bring the total to 45,000.

In 2006, more than 226,600 trees were collected and recycled into mulch for playgrounds, city and county landscaping projects and individual homes. More than 8,600 of the trees were sunk into lakes across the state to provide fish habitat.

“Georgia’s program continues to be so successful in due in large part to the dedication of our Keep Georgia Beautiful volunteers and affiliates in participating communities. We are especially proud of our affiliates and their successful efforts to engage 117 Georgia communities and staff nearly 380 collection sites for this year’s effort, which we hope will be our best ever,” said Commissioner Beatty.

Corporate sponsors The Home Depot, WXIA-TV/11 Alive (Atlanta’s NBC affiliate) and The Davey Tree Expert Company have joined forces to sponsor one of the state’s largest tree recycling drives included in the “Bring One for the Chipper” program.

In addition to The Home Depot, The Davey Tree Expert Company and WXIA-TV, numerous community sponsors and volunteers are expected to donate money and in-kind service valued at more than $100,000 towards this statewide effort.

Atlanta-area Home Depot stores will serve as community drop-off sites. The Davey Tree Expert Company will again donate use of their equipment to chip the trees collected at the store locations.

Local area residents are invited to bring their trees to the Home Depot drop-off centers on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Trees will be chipped into mulch or used as wildlife habitat. The mulch is used for public beautification projects and may be available free to citizens in many communities. Citizens are encouraged to contact the store directly to confirm participation.

While supplies last, each citizen that donates a tree for recycling on that day will receive a free dogwood seedling. Seedlings will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Funds from Keep Georgia Beautiful, Georgia Forestry Commission and the state’s Solid Waste Fund wee used to purchase the seedlings.

For more information about the 2007 Bring One for the Chipper program, including local drop-off site locations, please call 1-800-CLEANUP or contact one of Georgia’s Keep America Beautiful Affiliates. Information will be provided in English and Spanish. Additional program and collection site Information is also available at

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