Recycling for Trees

Recycling for Trees

McLean Trees Foundation encourages community to use recycling bins.


Photo contributed

Bobbie Jackson, a McLean resident, is a regular user of the McLean Trees Foundation recycling bins.

As Earth Day approaches, the McLean Trees Foundation (MTF) is encouraging residents of McLean to use its two red recycling bins located in front of Cooper Middle School on the corner of Balls Hill Road and Georgetown Pike. Proceeds from recycling magazines and newspapers are used by MTF to purchase, plant and maintain trees in McLean. The bins are always open.

“Trees provide many environmental, aesthetic, social and economic benefits to our community,” said Joyce Harris, chairman of the McLean Trees Foundation. “When you bring your newspapers, magazines, telephone books and other recyclable paper to our bins, you are actively helping to maintain, preserve and increase the tree canopy here in McLean. Our goal is to provide McLean with more tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly streets. Donations and proceeds from our recycling bins are our only stream of revenue.”

“It’s such a simple act to bring your newspapers and magazines to the recycling bins and it results in more trees for our community to enjoy and appreciate,” said Bobbie Jackson, a McLean resident and a regular user of the recycling bins. “I like to think of the trees planted throughout McLean as my trees, as I have contributed in some small way to their existence. Can you imagine what McLean would look like without any trees?”

“We have a county collection for our trash and recyclables, but we always bring our newspapers to MTF’s recycling bins to help support the planting of more trees in McLean,” said Sue King, treasurer and board member for MTF who has been involved with its efforts for over 14 years. “We are losing trees to development faster than we are able to plant trees.”

IN PARTNERSHIP with local and county officials, MTF engages public and private property owners to plant and maintain trees. Throughout the year, MTF identifies tree-planting projects in McLean and recruits volunteers of all ages to participate in projects that are held in the spring and fall. MTF’s projects can be seen throughout McLean on private and public property in parks, school grounds, government sites, commercial corridors, traffic islands and sidewalk rights-of-way.

Businesses, civic groups, homeowner associations, churches, schools, Scouts and other volunteer organizations are encouraged to participate. Volunteers may work independently or with a group. No experience in planting or maintaining trees is necessary.

“A single tree has the power to change a landscape and to change lives,” said Harris. “Trees are the oldest living organisms on earth, but they sometimes need our help to thrive. MTF provides a way for McLean residents and businesses to donate services, time, labor and money to support restoration and enhancement of our urban forest here in McLean.”

MTF was founded over 30 years ago as a semi-autonomous committee of the McLean Citizens Association before incorporating in 2004 as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization. MTF’s mission is to preserve, plant and maintain trees in McLean; to educate the public on the value of trees; and to assist the public in taking an active role in caring for trees in McLean. Tax-deductible donations, suggestions for projects and offers for volunteer assistance can be addressed to The McLean Trees Foundation, PO Box 113, McLean, VA, 22101 or contact Joyce Harris, chairman, at

FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Sue King, MTF treasurer, at 703-356-1790 or