With holidays comes tons of trash

Published 8:59 am Monday, December 29, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
Along with an approximate 20 tons of additional garbage from the Christmas holiday, workers for the Atmore Streets and Sanitation Department will be busy picking up discarded Christmas trees.
From decoration to environmental conservator, Christmas trees have a multitude of functions.
The Environmental Protection Agency encourages the recycling of live trees instead of having them end up in landfills, where there environmental benefits are wasted and unnecessary space is taken up.
To help keep Atmore “green,” the City has been offering a Christmas tree recycling service for several years.
Don Whatley, superintendent for the department, encouraged residents to participate in the program and offered two ways to do so.
Whatley reminded people to make sure trees were back in their natural states before leaving them to be recycled.
A machine grinds the trees into mulch, which Whatley said was free to be picked up by whoever wanted it.
According to the EPA’s Web site, mulch “provides a protective barrier for the roots of other plants and vegetation, while preventing weeds from growing. The mulch then decomposes, providing the nutrients plants need to thrive.”
Whatley said he also has people ask for discarded whole trees.
The EPA Web site also recommends using the trees as bird feeders, attaching bird friendly food items to the branches where the birds will also stay for shelter.
The Web site, WorldofChristmas.net, offered these other suggestions for Christmas tree recycling.
New Year’s Day garbage service will remain the same for those serviced by the City on Thursdays.
For County customers with Allied Waste Services, Thursday customers will receive pickup on Friday and Friday customers will receive pickup on Saturday.

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