(Published on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, in The Daily Citizen, Dalton, GA.)
Recycle & Reuse: Recycle Trees and Electronics Year Round
Last Saturday several residents spent their morning dropping off their natural Christmas trees and electronic devices for recycling at The Home Depot in Dalton. Overall almost 7,000 pounds of electronics were collected, and more than 140 trees were mulched on site. Participants received seed packets donated by the Ferry-Morse Seed Company or dogwood seedlings donated by the Georgia Forestry Commission as thanks for dropping off their items.
This annual event began as Bring One For the Chipper, a program from Keep Georgia Beautiful that encourages residents to mulch or reuse their live natural Christmas trees after the holiday season. In recent years Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful added electronics recycling to help local residents get rid of old electronics being replaced by new Christmas gifts. Electronics accepted ranged from old flip phones and television sets to CD players and radios.
The Christmas Tree and Electronics Recycling Day was made possible by volunteers from Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful along with staff from Whitfield County Public Works, and the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority who were on site to collect recyclables from the public from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. If you missed the event last weekend and have old electronics or even a live Christmas tree to get rid of there are several recycling options available.
Live, natural, undecorated Christmas trees can be recycled with other types of yard waste or yard trimmings. If you live in the city of Dalton and have garbage pickup thru the City of Dalton Public Works Department call 706-278-7077 to find out when yard waste is picked up at the curb in your neighborhood. If you live in Whitfield County you can drop off yard waste at one of four convenience centers (also called transfer stations) where residents drop off household garbage and recyclables. Both services are available year round and typically recycle yard trimmings into mulch.
Whitfield County Convenience Centers include the Old Dixie Hwy. Landfill and Convenience Center at the south end of the county, M.L. King Jr. Blvd. in Dalton, McGaughey Chapel Rd. in Cohutta, and Westside in the Rocky Face Community. Each location is typically open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Saturday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. Please note that McGaughey Chapel is closed on Wednesday, and Westside is closed on Tuesday. Call the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority at 706-277-2545 or visit www.DWSWA.org to find out which convenience center is near you and the hours for each site.
Electronic devices can be dropped off for recycling year round at the Old Dixie Hwy. Landfill and Convenience Center during regular business hours. Items accepted include mp3 players, laptops, video game consoles, cell phones, smartphones, VCRs, eBook readers, video and audio recorders, radios, and more. There is a $10 recycling fee for CRT (cathode ray tube) television sets and computer monitors, however, all other electronics can be dropped off for free. Electronics are collected at the on-site Materials Recovery Facility, then are sent to a certified electronics recycler in Georgia.
No matter what you’re recycling be sure to secure your load to prevent litter and accidents while on the road. All items being transported should be in held down and covered by a strong tarp or cargo netting. Large or heavy items should be firmly secured with solid straps, rope, bungee cords, or netting. Small items can be placed inside a bag or bin that is also strapped down securely. Put lighter weight things at the bottom of the load and make sure they are secure. Evenly distribute the load to prevent it from sliding.
Double check your load to make sure it is secure at the back and on the sides and top. Remember that loads can move and settle during a journey, allowing restraints to loosen. If possible, recheck restraints shortly after beginning your trip. Before you go, ask yourself: Is there any chance of debris falling or blowing out of my vehicle? Would I feel safe if I were driving behind MY vehicle? What would happen to MY load if I had to brake suddenly or if I hit a bump?
Liz Swafford is the Recycling and Education Program Coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority. Contact her at 706-278-5001, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.