0

Annual event gives holiday trees new life

LAWRENCEVILLE - Christmas isn't over yet. But come Tuesday morning, what's a family to do with a tinsel-covered fir?

Bring it to the chipper.

For 20 years, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful has collected washed-up Christmas trees and recycled them, giving them a second life.

Connie Wiggins, the group's executive director, said turning the used trees into mulch keeps them from being dumped illegally on the roadside and means new coverings for trails, parks and school grounds.

"It's an easy and fun way to give a great gift back to nature," she said.

Last year, about 70,000 trees made it into the chipper. Wiggins expects between 75,000 and 80,000 trees to become mulch this year.

The trees can be donated at 29 sites, including several Home Depots, the cities of Duluth and Lilburn and a number of fire stations. On Jan. 20, the trees will be destroyed at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, where some of the mulch will also be used.

Wiggins urged people to donate their trees - but without the ornaments and decorations.

"Gwinnett recycles one-third of the trees recycled in Georgia," she said. "We'd like to beat that record. If all the trees we recycled last year were set end-to-end, they would reach Greenville, S.C. That's a lot of trees."

To volunteer for the Jan. 20 Bring One for the Chipper event, e-mail gwinnettcb@gwinnettcb.org or volunteer on the Web site, www.gwinnettcb.org. Trees may be donated beginning Tuesday until Jan. 12.

IF YOU DONATE

•What: Used Christmas trees •When: At Home Depots Jan. 6. and Dec. 26 through Jan. 12 at all other locations

•Locations:

• Home Depot, 4120 Highway 20, Buford

• Home Depot, 3755 Shackleford Road, Duluth

• Home Depot, 2120 Hamilton Creek Parkway, Dacula

• Home Depot, 875 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Lawrenceville

• Home Depot, 4141 Atlanta Highway, Loganville

• Home Depot, 1670 Scenic Highway North, Snellville

• Home Depot, 4121 Highway 78, Lilburn

• Home Depot, 1480 Satellite Boulevard, Suwanee

• Home Depot, 4136 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross

• City of Duluth, 2450 Chattahoochee Drive, Duluth

• City of Lilburn, 107 Railroad Ave., Lilburn

• City of Snellville Recycling Center, 1000 East Park Drive, Snellville

• City of Suwanee Town Center Park, 370 Buford Highway, Suwanee

• Fire Station 14, 1600 Highway 23, Buford

• Fire Station 17, 2739 Brooks Road., Dacula

• Fire Station 18, 3600 Braselton Highway, Dacula

• Fire Station 19, 3275 North Berkeley Lake Road, Duluth

• Fire Station 5, 3001 Old Norcross Road, Duluth

• Fire Station 15, 275 South Perry St., Lawrenceville

• Fire Station 20, 1801 Cruse Road, Lawrenceville

• Fire Station 25, 3575 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville

• Fire Station 9, 1900 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lawrenceville

• Fire Station 2, 12 Harmony Grove Road, Lilburn

• Fire Station 22, 2180 Stone Drive, Lilburn

• Fire Station 3, 4394 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lilburn

• Fire Station 11, 5885 Live Oak Parkway, Norcross,

• Fire Station 23, 4355 Steve Reynolds Blvd., Norcross,

• Fire Station 6, 3890 Johnson Drive, Snellville,

• Fire Station 21, 474 Old Peachtree Road, Suwanee