Originally created 12/29/00

Recycling sites ready for trees



By Christmas Day, Kathy Bugg's Christmas tree had become a fire hazard.

"Mine dried out too bad, and we have a floor heater," said Ms. Bugg, who took her tree down the day after Christmas and was making a trip to the Christmas tree recycling site at the corner of Central Avenue and Troupe Street on Wednesday.

Ms. Bugg is one of many Augusta-area residents who area beautification officials hope will recycle their Christmas trees as the holiday season comes to an end.

"Things are going well," said Lillian-Katharine Blanos with Metro Augusta Clean & Beautiful Inc.

Trees recycled in Augusta will be taken to Lake Thurmond to create fish habitat or ground into mulch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 6 at The Home Depot on Bobby Jones Expressway at the Bring One for the Chipper program.

Ms. Blanos said it was important people remove all ornaments, lights and the tree stand from the trees.

"We zap them through the grinder so fast, it could hurt the machine," she said.

On Wednesday at the Troupe Street dropoff, there were about two dozen trees. One had lights on it, and one was in its stand.

Bring One for the Chipper is a statewide program and is very popular with people lining up to take truckloads of mulch away.

Last year, more than 36,000 trees were recycled in Augusta.

Recycling sites in the area include the Augusta-Richmond County landfill, Columbia County landfill, Troupe Street Park at Troupe Street and Central Avenue behind the fire station, Pearl Avenue across from Chaffee Park and at The Home Depot on Bobby Jones Expressway.

The City of Aiken Department of Parks and Recreation began its Christmas-tree recycling program Tuesday.

Trees can be dropped of at the H. Odell Weeks Recreation Center, 1700 Whiskey Road; Citizens Park, 1060 Banks Mill Road; and the Smith-Hazel Recreation Center, 400 Kershaw St.

The parks department will accept trees through Jan. 7.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at (803) 441-6927.