Though the season of giving is over, there is still another way to give back to the community and help thy neighbor by donating real Christmas trees for the annual Grinding of the Greens at Dillon Park.
The event that provides free mulch for the community will take place on Saturday, Jan. 20.
In past years, as many as 1,500 trees have been donated to Grinding of the Greens, Karen Hyatt, Sumter County assistant public works director, said.
Landscape refuse such as leaves, grass clippings, limbs, and even Christmas trees, accounts for approximately 20 percent of the waste dumped in local landfills, states a release from public works.
Mulch, a multi-purpose product of ground trees, can be placed in gardens to conserve moisture, reduce weed competition, reduce plant stress and serve as a unifying element in landscaping. It can also be used in plant containers, under bushes or fruit trees and placed along garden paths and fences.
Real Christmas trees - without decorations, lights, garlands and tree stands - can be dropped off at Dillon Park today through Jan. 18 - there is a sign marking the designated drop-off area.
City residents can place live trees at the curb for yard debris pick-up starting on Monday.
Because yard debris pick-up is only available in the city, county residents will have to deliver the trees at the recycling centers on Rainaire Boulevard, Stamey Livestock Road, Cane Savannah Road, Pinewood Road, Queen Chapel Road, Bethel Church Road, Alligator Branch Road, Pleasant Grove and Spencer Road, or at Dillon Park.
Grinding of the Greens is for live trees only; no wreaths, garlands nor other holiday greenery are accepted.
Real trees dropped off at the recycling centers will be transported to Dillon Park to be ground, Hyatt said, and stores can also donate real trees.
Old artificial trees can also be taken to the recycling centers and placed in the brown goods container for disposal, she said.
Residents can pick up mulch on a first-come, first-served basis from 7 to 10 a.m. on Jan. 20 at Dillon Park. Residents should bring containers, tools to pick up the mulch and a method to transport the material.
Hyatt said public works employees will be available to help people load mulch into containers and into vehicles, Hyatt said. People can take as much as they want.
Any left over mulch will be used by the city and county.
Grinding of the Greens is sponsored by Clemson Extension Service, Sumter County Public Works and City of Sumter Public Services.
For more information about recycling Christmas trees, contact Sumter County Public Works at (803) 436-2241.