01-07-15-grinding-greens.gifDuring the Christmas season a fresh fir or spruce looks magnificent decked out in lights and ornaments. The house smells refreshingly like a forest, and the season is full of bright evergreen beauty. At the end of the season however, when all of the decorations have come down, the inevitable question arises: What do I do with my tree? Bring it to the Grinding of the Greens!

The Grinding of the Greens is a Fayetteville tradition that takes old Christmas trees and recycles them. This year the project is a collaboration between the Fayetteville Public Works Commission, the City of Fayetteville and Duke Energy Progress. These organizations working together allow the community to take a resource that would otherwise be wasted, and use it to support local institutions. The first grinding of the greens took place in 1994, and it has grown ever since. The live trees are fed into large wood chippers and turned into mulch that is given to local parks

The Grinding of the Greens serves two great purposes for the community. First, it keeps the Christmas trees out of the landfill. Hundreds of live Christmas trees thrown into a landfill add up quickly. The landfill grows, resources are wasted and decomposition is hindered. Just keeping the trees out of the landfill is great for the environment. The Grinding of the Greens takes it even a step further and turns the trees into mulch that is distributed to the Fayetteville Community Garden and other local parks.

Besides adding a beauty and elegance to landscaping, mulch serves several very important functions in gardening. It traps moisture, which reduces the amount of water needed, helping to prevent drought. This reduces water waste, which is beneficial to the environment and helps to increase the resiliency of the plants. So, in the face of a drought, the gardens will remain beautiful and healthy without excessive watering. Additionally, as the mulch decomposes it also adds nutrients to the soil to help the plants thrive even more. Mulch also helps prevent the growth of weeds, which keeps the parks beautiful with less effort. Mulch is an incredibly important gardening tool, and creating it from a resource that would otherwise be tossed into a landfill is cost effective, environmentally friendly and beneficial for the entire community.

If you want to participate in the Grinding of the Greens, you can drop your tree off at the Fayetteville Community Garden before Jan. 10. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 10, volunteers from PWC and Duke Energy Progress will begin grinding the trees. All trees must be dropped off prior to this.

The garden is located at the intersection of Van Story and Mann Street. To make sure that the trees are ready for grinding, all decorations, lights, stands and trimmings should be removed. For more information visit www.faypwc.com/grinding_greens.aspx or call 483-1382.

Photo: The Annual Grinding of the Greens is slated for Jan. 10 at 8:30 a.m. at the Fayetteville Community Garden, which is located at the intersection of Van Story and Mann Street.

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