Sponsored as a partnership between Santek Waste Services Inc., the Bradley County Commission, the county mayor’s office and the Bradley County Road Department, the recycling project will continue through Saturday, Jan. 12. Although this year’s chipping exercise is a week longer, stockpiles of discarded trees have been slow to build.
Cheryl Dunson, executive vice president of marketing for Santek, said the chipping is beginning today in earnest at the Bradley County Landfill. Until now, the tossed trees have been stockpiled at either of three recycling locations — Urbane Road, Peerless Road or at the landfill.
Why are this year’s piles of trees slow to grow?
According to the Santek representative — whose recycling goal is to keep unnecessary items out of the landfill — it could be any number of reasons, just a few of which might include:
1. The popularity of artificial trees is growing because of better pricing, improved quality, added amenities and the convenience of storing them away until their next use.
2. The inconveniences of having real trees indoors such as debris and setup, but also the problem of tree dryout which can become a fire hazard.
3. The traditional holiday season rush which allows busy families less time to select a real tree, transport it home and then decorate it from bare limbs to final tinsel.
4. The ever-present concerns of household budgets; that is, buying an artificial tree once and whose life span is measured in years versus the annual purchase of a real tree which tacks on added holiday expense each year.
Still, many Cleveland and Bradley County families are live-tree traditionalists. It is to this group that Dunson issues this final reminder: Chipping of the Green wraps up Saturday so instead of tossing the discarded family tree to the curb, she urges residents to transport it to either of the three recycling locations.
“Recycling a live Christmas tree just makes good environmental sense,” she said. “It’s a free service that’s made available by Santek and by county government. It provides mulch free of charge to anyone who wants it and it’s just one more step in extending the life of our landfill.”
Operating hours for each of the three recycling sites include:
1. Bradley County Landfill on Pleasant Grove Road: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
2. Urbane Road Recycling Center: Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1:30 to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
3. Peerless Road Recyling Center: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 1:30 to 5 p.m.
For Chipping of the Green, residents don’t have to abide by the recycling site’s operating hours.
“Residents can just drop their trees outside the gate at the recycling centers regardless of whether we’re open,” Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said. “We’ll make sure they get transported to the landfill where they’ll be chipped.”
Recycling is also encouraged throughout the year.
According to a joint statement between Santek and the mayor’s office, all three recycling sites accept glass, aluminum, cardboard, mixed paper and newsprint. The Peerless Road Recycling Center also accepts electronics and all types of plastics; and the landfill accepts waste oils, lead-acid batteries and white goods.
Additional information about Chipping of the Green or Bradley County’s recycling efforts may be obtained by contacting Dunson at 303-7107.