An evergreen farewell via Chipping of the Green

Posted 1/3/18

Some 4,000 communities in the United States love their Christmas trees so much that they’re willing to shred them into little pieces in order to better spread the joy.Cleveland included.Actually, …

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An evergreen farewell via Chipping of the Green


Some 4,000 communities in the United States love their Christmas trees so much that they’re willing to shred them into little pieces in order to better spread the joy.

Cleveland included.

Actually, that’s just a lighthearted approach to offering this reminder: The annual Chipping of the Green initiative is in full swing, so local holiday revelers who reluctantly face the sadness of taking down their beloved live evergreens do enjoy the option of giving them a longer life.

It’s done by dropping them off — after removing all decorations — to one of four collection points where they’ll be collected and then chipped into Mother Nature’s most aromatic mulch.

It’s not a new program. In fact, Santek Waste Services has partnered with the Bradley County Road Department and the county mayor’s office for more than two decades to make this recycling project available.

And now, for the fourth consecutive year the home-improvement giant — The Home Depot — has offered its support by providing a collection corral in its parking lot at the Paul Huff Parkway center.

Here’s how it works: Local residents take down their Christmas trees and deliver them to any of the four collection points. From there, the discarded trees are hauled away by county road department crews who later run them through a commercial chipper.

The subsequent piles of evergreen mulch are then given to the public — free of charge — for use in landscaping or gardens, or for whatever outdoor purposes the local resident can imagine.

This season’s “Chipping” program began the day after Christmas, and will continue through Saturday, Jan. 13.

Along with The Home Depot parking lot corral, the other three collection sites include the Bradley County Landfill, the Urbane Road Recycling Site and the Peerless Road Recycling Center.

Hours of operation for each are:

1.     The Home Depot corral, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

2.     The Bradley County Landfill, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

3.     The Urbane Road Recycling Site, from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

4.     The Peerless Road Recycling Center, from 2 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Certainly, the success of Chipping of the Green is a question of convenience for live evergreen loyalists. In most cases, they hauled the trees to their homes shortly after Thanksgiving, but asking them to deliver the same trees to a “Chipping” collection point becomes another matter.

All we can ask, and all anyone can ask, is that local residents participate in the recycling program if they can. Obviously, it is the right thing to do. And, it is a fitting farewell to an evergreen that has played a huge role in bringing Christmas joy, and beauty, to a Cleveland and Bradley County family.

As for that figure — 4,000 — mentioned in the opening paragraph, that’s how many Christmas-tree recycling programs operate in this country.

Here’s another tidbit. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, some 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. every year.  About 77 million Christmas trees are planted in their place in the same year.

Now that’s a recycling plan.

Don’t forget Chipping of the Green. It’s a noteworthy project because it honors Mother Nature, the special lady who gives Planet Earth such a rare and ever-present beauty. 


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