Clean North Tree Recycling Gives Back to the Community

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Clean North Tree Recycling
(left to right) Head Volunteer Don McGorman and volunteers Huy Lu, James Roy, Kyle Rogoschenski, Austin Mick and Dione Laroue on-site at the Cambrian Mall on Sat., Jan. 4, 2020. Photo by Megan Pounder/SaultOnline

Are you looking for somewhere to dispose your natural Christmas tree while helping the community?

Clean North launched their annual tree recycling depot on Dec. 26 in the northwest corner of the Cambrian Mall parking lot on Great Northern Rd. This program, which has been running for over 20 years, allows people to discard their used trees at no cost. The trees are then chipped and are free to the public to use for mulch, as well as saved for projects such as community gardens.

“Waste management is a big issue – we want to recycle as much as possible,” Head Volunteer Don McGorman told SaultOnline.

“Christmas trees is an easy win where we can grind these trees up and make use of the product. So it doesn’t end up in the landfill, which is a waste of space and material.”

McGorman said several dozen volunteers help with this initiative each year, from high school students to college students to adults.

One of these volunteers is James Roy, who has been helping out for about three years with the tree recycling depot as well as other projects. He started volunteering to get community hours for high school, and stayed because he liked the outdoor aspect and helping the community.

“It’s a good experience and I would recommend volunteering to more people,” he said.

“It’s a good way to get out in the community instead of sitting at home, and you can (get the) experience of helping people out who are in need.”

McGorman mirrored that sentiment, saying it “feels good to be able to give back to the community and make a difference.”

“And the spirit of the volunteers (is something) I really like (as well),” he said.

Clean North is also collecting books and magazines (in good condition) for resale by the Friends of the Library, and blankets and towels for the Humane Society.

Volunteers will be at the depot site on a daily basis, mainly in the afternoon and early evening. The depot is open 24/7 for drop offs. If no volunteers are around, Clean North asks you to please put your tree near the pile and any books or blankets/towels in the on-site walk-in container.

The depot will receive material until Sat., Jan. 11, and tree chipping will take place Sun., Jan. 12 at 8 a.m. Fresh mulch will be available to the public for about half an hour at approximately 10 a.m.