As we enter the most wonderful—and wasteful—time of the year, consider what you can do to keep your community beautiful this season. Keep Cobb Beautiful and Keep Smyrna Beautiful work on programs year-round to keep Cobb County green and community-oriented, and there are many ways that you can help out during the holidays.

One quarter of the waste for the entire year is generated between Thanksgiving and New Years. Conserving starts at the most basic levels, like telling clerks you don’t need a plastic bag for small or medium purchases, utilizing your reusable shopping bags for more than just groceries and reusing gift bags you’ve been given or even options for cloth gift bags.

The Smyrna Recycling Center at 645 Smyrna Hill Dr. in Smyrna takes all cardboard, electronics (including old Christmas lights), plastic bags and used cooking and motor oils (separately in plastic jugs or original containers) Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. and Thursdays from noon–8 p.m. All items are free to recycle except for a $10 charge for TVs and $35 for refrigerators, dehumidifiers and air conditioners (anything with coolant). On Christmas Eve, the center will be open 8 a.m.–noon, but it will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. They also accept used fabrics, shoes, books, all types of paper, magazines, catalogues, shredded paper, junk mail, glass bottles and jars, all metals, fluorescent bulbs and No. 1 and 2 plastic bottles. For community convenience, used cooking oil is also accepted at the Smyrna fire stations and Public Works Department.

Last year, the Smyrna Biodiesel Program collected more than 300 gallons of cooking oil to power its fleet of vehicles. In addition to cooking oil, other holiday items like your Christmas tree should be recycled as well; holiday trees will be collected at Home Depot locations from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. on Jan. 3, and most locations will be offering free seeds as well. Wreaths and garland cannot be chipped due to the metal that holds them together and should go out with your normal trash pickup.

As always, packing peanuts and Styrofoam cannot be recycled and you should utilize shredded paper or newspaper when packing and shipping, minimizing as much packaging and wrapping as possible. From all of us at Cobb In Focus and, have a safe and green holiday!

Read more about Christmas Tree Recycling.


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