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County, city will help you toss that old tree

December 27, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - The days and weeks following the Christmas holiday are filled with more pesky tasks than returning unwanted gifts and getting rid of lingering indigestion from the family dinner.

However, the City of Hagerstown and Washington County are looking to lend a hand in at least one area - disposing of those not-so-live Christmas trees in homes throughout the area.

Harvey Hoch, recycling coordinator for the Washington County Solid Waste Department, said county residents will have access to five sites to drop off Christmas trees from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays until Jan. 31. Hoch said the sites are the 40 West Landfill, Greensburg Convenience center on Bickle Road, Kaetzel Convenience Center on Kaetzel Road, Hancock Convenience Center on Hess Road and Dargan Convenience Center on Dargan School Road.

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Hoch said the county enacts a limit of two trees per county resident.

Hoch said the county's drop-off approach is unlike the City of Hagerstown, which picks up trees from residents, because of the large area the county's public works department has to cover.

"To have a rural pickup of trees would be very, very expensive," Hoch said. "We have the convenience centers strategically located around the county so most people will have only a little distance to drive."

According to a news release issued by the City of Hagerstown last week, city residents may place trees at curbs in front of their homes as early as 4 p.m. the day before their area's scheduled pickup. The following scheduled tree pickups are scheduled:

n Jan. 3 - West side of North Potomac Street to the north side of West Washington Street

n Jan. 4 - North side of East Washington Street to the east side of North Potomac Street

n Jan. 5 - South side of West Washington Avenue to west side of South Potomac Street

n Jan. 6 - East side of South Potomac Street to the south side of East Washington Street

Eric Deike, Hagerstown's public works manager, said providing the service makes tree disposal more manageable for residents and city employees.

"We don't want people throwing them in the street or in empty lots," he said.

Though a schedule has been released for early January, Deike said getting all the trees usually takes weeks or months.

Deike also said the tree collection does not put an additional strain on the budget because it is an expected annual task for employees. Deike said he hopes that task will be easier next month than it was in January 2004.

"The only thing I remember from last year was one snowstorm after another. I think I was off like two days last January," he said.

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