With a light dusting of snow, the holiday season has come to a close. Now that the holiday season is over you have to find a way to deal with all that holiday waste.

You have a tree and maybe even some replaced electronics that are now taking up space along with piles of Amazon and FedEx boxes. Start the new year off on good terms by gathering up your tree, electronics and cardboard to be recycled.

Whitfield County residents are invited to drop off live, natural Christmas trees and used electronic devices for recycling at the community’s annual Christmas Tree and Electronics Recycling event. On Saturday Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful volunteers will be collecting live, natural, undecorated Christmas trees and electronic devices from 9 a.m. to noon in the Home Depot parking lot at 875 Shugart Road in Dalton. Participants may receive free vegetable seeds or dogwood tree seedlings.

There is no charge for dropping off live, natural Christmas trees. Trees must be free of ornaments, nails, hooks, wire, tinsel, lights and other decorations. Only natural, live, real trees will be accepted no artificial trees, please. Trees will be recycled on site into mulch that will be used for beautification projects throughout Whitfield County.

Along with your real Christmas tree, bring down any old electronics you have. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stated that every one million cellphones contain 772 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold. By bringing your electronics to be recycled you keep precious metals from being buried in a landfill. This also helps keep lithium ion batteries, which are present in most electronics, out of the standard waste stream so they can be disposed of properly.

Please note there is a $10 fee for TV or computer monitors. Monitors are more difficult and dangerous to recycle and require specialized handling. Cash only, please.

However, other electronics can be dropped off for free. These devices include computer consoles, digital cameras, video cameras, cellphones, gaming systems and components, MP3 players, scanners, flat screens, ebook readers, tablets and laptops. In past years we’ve received 8-track players and medical equipment too!

Break down any cardboard boxes you will be bringing to save space and then tote them along. Those boxes will be turned into the covers of books, cereal boxes, paper towel tubes and more.

Before going to the event secure your load for cleaner and safer roads. Tie down and put a tarp on items placed in the back of a pickup truck or trailer or on the roof of a vehicle.

If you are unable to attend there are several options available year-round for recycling Christmas trees and electronic devices.

The Dalton Public Works Department will collect Christmas trees from the curb for city residents that have garbage collection service through the city. City residents should call (706) 278-7077 to request pickup. Yard debris is regularly picked up throughout the year every other week.

The four Convenience Centers managed by the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority have drop-off areas for yard debris that is recycled year-round. These include the McGaughey Chapel, M.L. King Boulevard, Westside and the Old Dixie Highway Landfill & Convenience Centers.

Electronics are collected for recycling year-round only at the Old Dixie Highway Landfill & Convenience Center. For hours of operation and directions to any of the four Convenience Centers visit www.dwswa.org or call (706) 277-2545.

Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful, the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, Whitfield County Public Works and Home Depot join together each year to create this annual recycling event for residents. For more details about the event visit www.KeepDaltonWhitfieldBeautiful.org.

Amy Hartline is the recycling and education program coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority. Have a recycling question? Contact her at (706) 278-5001 or ahartline@dwswa.org.

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