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McKenny Bittman, a recycling program employee, brings another tree to the pile of those waiting to be turned into mulch in this file photo.


• Bradley County Landfill. 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

• Urbane Road. 2-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.

• Peerless Road Recycling Center. 2-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Recycling is a part of Christmas, too.

The annual "Chipping of the Green" starts today and continues through Jan. 7 at the Bradley County Landfill.

Landfill personnel will accept trees and wreaths and grind them into mulch. Unlimited amounts of mulch will be free to the public, said Cheryl Dunson, executive vice president of marketing for Santek Waste Services Inc.

"Recycling your Christmas tree not only makes good environmental sense, but it's also free, readily available at a number of locations and results in a valuable resource," Dunson said.

The Urbane and Peerless Road recycling centers also will accept trees during the holiday season, Bradley County Executive D. Gary Davis said.

He said the recycle centers do not have to be open for residents to drop off their trees.

"Just drop the trees outside the gate, regardless of whether we're open," Davis said. "We'll make sure they get transported to the landfill where they'll be chipped."

Davis said the recycle centers accept glass, aluminum, cardboard, mixed paper and newsprint year round.

This year the Peerless Road Center began accepting electronics. The landfill also accepts waste oils, lead-acid batteries and appliances.

In 2011, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland urged the city to again consider curbside recycling collections. Several years ago the city dropped the service, citing low participation and expense.

But it may be time to take another look, Rowland said.

During a recent planning retreat, Steve LaFollette, division vice president for Waste Connections, explained how residential customers could use the RecycleBank if approved by the city.

Customers' recycling would be weighed and recorded through the company's system. Points earned by customers can be redeemed for coupons to be used at participating local businesses.

"It keeps the dollars in the community," LaFollette said.

The city council has made no decision on curbside recycling.