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Homeowners have several options for disposing of Christmas trees

Posted: December 23, 2012 - 1:04am
A recycling center is open at Riverside Middle School for homeowners to bring trees after Christmas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use the trees to create fish habitat at Clarks Hill Lake. All trees brought to the site should be left inside the enclosure, with all decorations removed.  File photo by Barry Paschal
File photo by Barry Paschal
A recycling center is open at Riverside Middle School for homeowners to bring trees after Christmas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use the trees to create fish habitat at Clarks Hill Lake. All trees brought to the site should be left inside the enclosure, with all decorations removed.

Once those Christmas trees come down, quite a few programs are available in Columbia County to take them off homeowners’ hands.

• The Army Corps of Engineers is collecting Christmas trees for use as fish habitat at Clarks Hill Lake.

The Corps began collecting trees – real ones only – for recycling this past week at Riverside Middle School, 1095 Furys Ferry Road in Evans. The collection site will be open through Jan. 9, after which the trees will be taken to the lake to be used as fish habitat.

“The submerged trees attract fish because they provide cover for small fish as well as a substrate for algae growth, which creates a feeding area for smaller fish,” said Jamie Sykes, Corps of Engineers’ fisheries biologist in an e-mail. “These small fish attract larger species, thus creating an enticing ‘hot spot’ for anglers.”

Before the trees are dropped off at the school all decorations such as tinsel, lights, garland and bulbs must be removed.

Dumping of wireframe wreaths, yard debris and household trash at the site is prohibited, and school officials emphasize that the trees should be left inside the area provided to avoid impeding school traffic after the holidays.

Corps rangers and volunteers will place the Christmas trees around fishing piers and in other locations, and additional trees will be left at select boat ramps around the lake for anglers to use. For a list of locations where the trees will be available, call the Corps’ Office at (800) 533-3478 after Jan. 10.

• Keep Columbia County Beautiful also will hold its annual Bring One for the Chipper recycling event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 5 at the Evans Home Depot at 520 North Belair Road.

In addition to dropping off trees for chipping by Georgia Power crews, participants can haul away the free material for use as mulch.

This year, trees also can be dropped off in advance of the event at the Columbia County Recycling Center, 1960 William Few Parkway, in Grovetown.

• For residents who don’t want to haul their tree away, Boy Scout Troop 643 will pick up trees for recycling in return for a $10 donation.

To schedule a pickup on Dec. 29 or Jan. 5, e-mail getmytree@knology.net, or call (706) 373-8922.

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