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Old trees to find new uses
Bring One for the Chipper is today at Andersons
Chipper photo
A Bulloch County resident gets ready to take his tree off the top of his vehicle during the "Bring One for the Chipper" in 2010 at Anderson's General Store. The 2011 Chipper event is set for today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. again at Anderson's on Highway 80 East. - photo by FILE

Bulloch County residents can give a final gift this holiday season while taking advantage of an opportunity to dispose of Christmas trees in an environmentally-friendly way.
Keep Bulloch Beautiful and Anderson’s General Store are “chipping” in Saturday, as part of a national effort to collect and recycle now-defunct trees for environmental and social benefit.
 “Bring One for the Chipper,” Georgia and Bulloch County’s annual Christmas tree recycling program, will accept and shred trees between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Anderson’s General Store on Highway 80 East in Statesboro.
The shredded trees will be turned to mulch for use in playgrounds, beautification projects, wildlife habitats and landscaping projects in Bulloch County and throughout the state.
“The mulch is really good for sedimentation and erosion control,” said Kim Portmess, Program Coordinator for Keep Georgia Beautiful. “In addition, many trees are usually sunk into lakes and ponds to serve as fish habitats.”
According to Portmess, the ‘chipper’ program is in its 20th year and has collected more than five million trees since its inception.
Though initially created out of a legislative need when Georgia banned tree trimmings from municipal landfills, Bring One for the Chipper “has evolved into a great tradition that instills environmental stewardship,” she said.
More than 200,000 trees are donated each year in Georgia, making the state’s program the most successful in the country, according to Keep Georgia Beautiful.
“While other parts of the country have dwindling numbers in their Christmas tree recycling programs, we have maintained steady donations.” said Portmess.
“[Bring One for the Chipper] also provides a great opportunity for parents to talk to their children about the importance of caring for the environment,” said Mike Beatty, Commissioner for Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs. “Georgia residents are encouraged to support their local Keep Georgia Beautiful affiliate or participating organization and get involved in environmental projects year round. Our children are never too young to learn about caring for our beautiful state.”
Donors are asked to take ornaments off of trees and leave them bare before presenting the trees to volunteers. In previous years’ events, individuals in Bulloch County have received a tree seedling and free mulch in exchange for the donated trees.
For information about Bring One for the Chipper, call (912) 764-6147 or visit www.KeepBullochBeautiful.org.

Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454

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