Thomasville’s ‘Bring One for the Chipper’ continues efforts to recycle Christmas trees

Thomasville’s ‘Bring One for the Chipper’ continues efforts to recycle Christmas trees
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 6:01 PM EST
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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - It’ll be a chip off your shoulder when you bring your undecorated Christmas tree to Thomasville’s annual “Bring One for the Chipper” event on Saturday to properly dispose of it.

The event is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of your Christmas tree. The Georgia initiative will be hosted on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the recycling center.

A chipper is brought to the recycling center to turn trees into mulch.
A chipper is brought to the recycling center to turn trees into mulch.(Julie Murphree)

“It’s a good way to reduce waste and avoid sending it to a landfill. We always look for opportunities to reuse things in different ways,” Julie Murphree, executive director of Keep Thomas County Beautiful, said.

Once the Christmas trees are run through the chipper, it’s turned into a new form that anyone can use: mulch. Anyone can use it for their yards, gardens, and even fishponds. Dumping trees at landfills is more harmful than helpful as it takes up thousands of dollars worth of space.

“The worst part of it is it’s filling up your landfills at an accelerated rate with unnecessary waste that you can have a secondary use for,” Lee Thomas, assistant solid waste landfill superintendent, said. “The biggest thing that you need to understand is this tree right here has a secondary use. There’s something else that can be done besides throwing it in a landfill.”

Thomas added that recycling trees can also avoid risks like tree fires which are 30% of U.S. home fires in January, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Bring One for the Chipper is an annual event where residents can recycle their Christmas trees.
Bring One for the Chipper is an annual event where residents can recycle their Christmas trees.(WALB)

“In another month or so, that tree will be completely brown and very very flammable. I mean one spark and in seconds it will be gone. If you still have that even around your house outside and that happens, it could be, you know catastrophic to your home,” Thomas said.

Not only does recycling Christmas trees create a new way to use Christmas trees, but it also helps local landfills out in a big way. On average people generate up to 5 pounds of garbage and even more depending on how big a household is.

“(It) Could equal anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds per household. And not bringing these Christmas trees to the landfill helps that number to reduce the amount of garbage that we’re bringing to our landfill; which actually gives us a little more longevity with the use of our landfill,” Latravis Jones, assistant superintendent for the Solid Waste Department, said.

With the simple act of reducing, reusing and recycling, more garbage will be taken off the streets. If you miss the event on Saturday, you can still bring your trees to one of the county’s waste drop-off centers.