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Planting trees can mean growing money

Brenda Bockover prepares to wrap a tree up for a local resident to take home and plant Friday afternoon. The Henry County Solid Waste Management District office still has a wide variety of trees available to pick up for free. The trees range in size from saplings to five feet tall.

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Some like to say money doesn’t grow on trees. But planting trees can result not only saving the environment, but saving dollars as well.

Healthy Communities of Henry County is again partnering with the Henry County Solid Waste Management District (HCSWMD) in a tree planting program during the entire month of April. Approximately 1,000 trees have been given away so far and another 1,600 or so are available.

A variety of sources say planting a tree is like growing money.

• According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.

• Urban Forest Research says planting a tree on the west side of a home will reap a 3 percent energy bill savings in five years and as much as 12 percent in 15 years.

• USDA Forest Service officials report mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value.

• The National Wildlife Federation says there are about 60 to 200 million spaces along city streets where trees could be planted. This translates to the potential of absorbing about 33 million more tons of carbon dioxide every year and saving $4 billion in energy costs.

During Wednesday’s month meeting of the HCSWMD board, JoAnne McCorkle, district director, said pines and red oaks have been the most popular trees so far. Also available are white oak, swamp white oak, bur oak, river birch, bald cypress, sugar maple, shagbark and shellbark hickory and Norway spruce.

Mayor Greg York, a member of the HCSWMD board, said the trees available range in size “from saplings to five feet tall.” 

Interested local residents may pick up the trees at the HCSWMD office, located at 1121 Broad St. in downtown New Castle. Each person may pick up to 10 trees, but they can’t be 10 of the same kind. For more information, call the district office at 529-1691.

In other business at Wednesday’s meeting:

• McCorkle reported 5,851 pounds of assorted electronic waste was picked up at the local office by the district’s electronics recycler. The total represented 729 more pounds that last month’s total. “We’re running about a pick-up once a month just to keep what we have in the office under control,” she said.

• A program about making hats from newspapers was a big hit for the 45 Eastwood Elementary School students who participated earlier this month. Courier-Times Managing Editor Travis Weik joined in the fun and produced a Facebook video. McCorkle said the two teachers, Nici Shelton and Stephanie Renfro, called it “a wonderful event.”

• McCorkle said district personnel also provided two recent educational programs – one on April 8 called “The Incredible Edible Landfill” for the New Castle-Henry County Public Library’s Teen Scape group and another on April 2 entitled “Vermi-Composting” at the request of the library’s Krystal Stanich. Others interested in HCSWMD programs may call the office at 529-1691.

Free document shredding April 27

In celebration of Earth Day, the Henry County Solid Waste Management District is sponsoring free document shredding from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in the New Castle-Henry County Public Library parking lot.

Local residents may bring up to 10 banker boxes (or equivalent) for shredding. Staples do not need to be removed, however, no metal clips can be attached.

The event is made possible through the partnership of the solid waste management district, the local library and Crowe Shredding.