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Don't let that Christmas tree go to waste
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Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful will hold its 17th annual "Bring One for the Chipper" Christmas tree recycling day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 5 at Home Depot in Covington or any neighborhood recycling center.

 "Bring One for the Chipper gives Newton County citizens the opportunity to participate in a holiday tradition that helps our environment," said Laurie Riley, KCNB executive board member. "Old trees that were otherwise useless can now be used again as mulch."

The mulch will then be used for public beautification projects or offered to county residents free of charge.

Participants will receive a free dogwood seedling in appreciation of their recycling efforts. Seedlings will only be available on Jan. 5.

Trees will be accepted at the recycling centers after Jan. 5, but only one day at Home Depot.

The event is part of a statewide effort to reuse Christmas trees and is sponsored in Georgia by Keep Georgia Beautiful of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Home Depot, NBC 11 Alive and the Davey Tree Expert Company.

Also on Jan. 5, county residents can dispose of pesticides and recycle paint and electronics from 8 a.m. to noon at the Newton County Landfill.

The E-Cycle and paint recycle service is offered free to residents on the first Saturday of every month.

 According to Connie Waller, executive director of KCNB said her organization wants to help the county save natural resources, water, energy and landfill space by encouraging a 10 percent reduction in solid waste collected.

Waller said 3.6 percent of the county's 189 million pounds of garbage is recycled currently.

James Peters, Newton County solid waste manager, estimated approximately 25 percent of the county's population recycles, generating about $200,000 per year from the sale of recyclable material.

Peters said if 100 percent of the population recycled, then $800,000 a year could be generated.

"If everyone recycled, we could break even on recycling expenses," Peters said.

Covington and Oxford residents with paid trash service can participate in curbside recycling at no additional charge. Residents outside the city limits can take recycling and garbage to any neighborhood recycling center at no cost.

Items which can be recycled include glass, aluminum cans, plastic, steel, tin cans, newspapers, corrugated cardboard, magazines, catalogs, motor oil and filters, scrap metal and appliances and tires.

"Recycling opportunities abound in Newton County," Waller said. The Solid Waste planning committee is completing work on a Solid Waste Management Plan at its regular meetings. The committee is devising ways to increase local recycling.

KCNB's business committee and recycling committee are collaborating on plans to increase business recycling opportunities in Newton County.

For more information about recycling in Newton County or to locate one of the 11 neighborhood recycling centers, visit or call KCNB at (770) 784-2015.