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Have a very green Christmas this year
M.P. Beckler drops off a bag of garbage Wednesday afternoon at the East Crescent Drive compactor site.

Green Christmas
Here are some other tips from the Georgia Recycling Coalition for making your Christmas a green one:

  • Bring your own shopping bag or reuse ones you already have when possible.
  • Be creative: Make the wrapping part of the gift — scarves, tea towels, etc.
  • Buy durable and appropriate gifts — consumables that you know will be used are great ideas.
  • Try museum memberships, sports or concert tickets, family heirlooms to pass down as gifts.
  • Buy recycled content holiday cards and wrapping.
  • Buy holiday foods/drinks in recyclable packaging.
  • Compost fruit and vegetable peels from your holiday cooking.
  • Consider a live tree that you can plant after the holidays.
  • Use LED lights for the tree and house to save energy.
  • String together popcorn or use live greenery to make a natural garland.
  • Use "recycled" water in your live and cut trees.
  • Recycle holiday cards or make gifts tags from last year’s cards.
  • Sink a used Christmas tree in a private pond to create a fish habitat.
  • Drop off packing "peanuts" at local private mailing centers.
  • Use newspapers to wrap gifts. Recycle the newspaper when done.

Hall County residents will have to wait until the day after Christmas to shed their holiday cheer because Hall County’s solid waste department is taking the holiday off.

Since the county plans to issue citations to anyone who dumps trash at a closed compactor site, residents might use the extra time to think about how they can reduce their holiday impacts on the Hall County Landfill, according to a news release from the county.

When Hall County compactor sites open at 7 a.m. on Saturday, residents can "Bring One for the Chipper," and recycle Christmas trees at any compactor site or the Hall County Recycling Center on Chestnut Street in Gainesville. After the county collects the trees and chips them, county residents and local governments can use the mulch on playgrounds and in individual landscaping projects.

Brent Wine, operations supervisor at the Hall County landfill, asks that residents be sure to remove all the ornaments and the lights before bringing those trees to the chipper, however.

And what’s left from those carefully crafted gifts — nonmetallic wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and paper gift bags — can be recycled in their own way.

Hall County Natural Resource Coordinator Rick Foote suggests that those shiny gift bags, tissue paper and bows just be stowed away with other Christmas decorations to be used again next year.

The holiday and furlough schedule also will change garbage pickups in Gainesville. Garbage was picked up on Monday and Tuesday only this week, though recycling will operate as usual through today. Customers who have garbage collection Fridays will be picked up on Saturday.

The garbage schedule in Gainesville will be changed next week as follows: Customers who usually have garbage collection on Mondays will be picked up on Monday and Wednesday. Those who usually have garbage collection on Tuesdays will be picked up on Tuesday and Dec. 31. Customers who usually have collection on Friday will be picked up on Jan. 2. Recycling will operate as usual through Dec. 31.

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