Beaufort County's annual Christmas tree recycling program is expanding to 18 locations this year, but it won't provide free mulch.
Instead, the trees will be sent with other yard waste collected at county recycling centers to Evergreen Recycling to be converted to biomass fuel, county recycling coordinator Carol Murphy said.
The free mulch produced by recycling Christmas trees in years past has not been popular and often wound up folded into the county's mulch or sent to Evergreen, she said.
"Nobody would take it because they said it wasn't good mulch," Murphy said. "It needs to be mixed with other materials to be viable."
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This year, Murphy and the county's Public Works Department decided to forgo mulching and open all the yard waste bins at county recycling centers for Christmas tree drop off to save time and energy, she said.
Evergreen already contracts with the county to recycle yard waste year round and offered to compost Christmas trees at no additional charge.
Several businesses across the county have also agreed to accept the trees, so Murphy hopes more drop-off options will make participating more convenient.
The towns of Hilton Head Island and Port Royal have arranged on their own to partner with Jones Brothers Tree & Landscape Company and Southern Tree Services to grind trees and provide mulch at locations in each municipality.
That mulch will be available on Hilton Head Island at U.S. 278 and Squire Pope Road and in Beaufort at the Naval Heritage Park on Ribaut Road on Jan. 11.
In addition, Christmas trees will be collected curbside in the city of Beaufort.
Drop-off locations include:
- Hilton Head Island: Coligny Beach parking lot, U.S. 278 at Squire Pope Road.
- Lady's Island: Barnwell Resources at 490 Brickyard Point Road South, Pleasant Point Road at the Family Tree Christmas Tree Farm.
- Beaufort: LCR Wood Waste and Recycling Center at 58 Chesapeake Road.
- Ridgeland: Evergreen Recycling off S.C. 170 at Short Cut Road.
- Beaufort County recycling centers.
For more information and the locations of the county's 11 recycling centers, go to http://bit.ly/1a2n6Zm
Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.