Trees dropped off at Twin Lakes boat ramp in Pickens County. (Dec. 26, 2011/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
If you love the scent of fresh pine trees in your home for the holidays but feel bad leaving the tree out for trash collection, there are several environmentally-friendly options available in the Upstate.
The City of Greenville is sponsoring its annual "Grinding of the Greens" Christmas tree recycling program, which offers city residents a way to dispose of their fresh trees conveniently.
The city said that trees placed at the curb for collection will be picked up on regularly scheduled trash days or they can be taken to four locations for recycling.
The four drop-off locations are Holmes Park at Twin Lake Road and Holmes Drive, Timmons Park at Oxford and Blackburn streets, Gower Park at Laurel Creek Lane and Laurens Road, and the West Greenville Community Center at 8 Rochester St.
Trees must be free of debris including ornaments, tinsel, ribbons and lights to be recycled.
The recycled trees and trimmings will be ground into mulch, which can be picked up free of charge at Twin Chimneys Landfill from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
The city is collecting the recycled trees at the four locations until Jan. 20.
Additionally, all holiday boxes, tissue paper and wrapping paper (except foil-lined) can be recycled at the curb and at the City's Recycling and Environmental Education Center at 800 East Stone Ave.
If you don't live in Greenville, there is another option to drop off your tree - and this one benefits a fish habitat.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hartwell Lake Project is collecting the fresh trees until Feb. 15 to use for fish in the lake.
The Christmas trees will be tied in bundles, weighted with concrete anchors and submerged throughout the lake marked with buoys.
"By recycling used Christmas trees in Hartwell Lake, we provide cover for fish and enhance nursery habitat for juvenile fish," Corps Park Ranger Jess Fleming said. "The trees are also beneficial to aquatic insects, which are essential food for most fish species."
The trees can be dropped off at the following locations: Big Oaks Recreation Area on U.S. 29 in Hart County, GA; Twin Lakes boat ramp in Pickens County; Coneross boat ramp on Coneross Creek Road; and Poplar Springs boat ramp in Franklin County, GA.
They can also be dropped off until Jan. 15 at Mount Lebanon Elementary School in Pendleton. The school is located at 2850 Lebanon Rd. The drop-off area will be roped off near the entrance to the school.
All ornaments, tinsel, etc. must be removed from the trees before they are dropped off.
The Corps also said the trees can be picked up by fishermen any time for personal use until Feb. 15 at these locations. They said the trees should be anchored in 8-to-12 feet of water and are not to be placed in the main lake channel or around private docks.
For directions and more information on where to drop off the trees for Hartwell Lake, visit http://www.sas.usace.army.mil/lakes/hartwell/. For more information on recycling the trees in Greenville, visit http://www.greenvillesc.gov/publicworks/AboutRecycling.aspx.
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