The presents have all been opened. The food has been eaten. The tree is starting to brown.
Those signs of the season coming to an end are also signs that Triangle-area waste management services are in for some heavy lifting. Here are a few tips to help make sure your curb gets cleared of debris.
You can recycle a lot of things that helped make your holidays brighter: wrapping paper, holiday cards, cardboard boxes, any aluminum, glass or plastic.
You cannot, however, recycle styrofoam shipping peanuts, or anything else made of styrofoam. Those should be placed in your regular trash, or see whether your local shipping store will take them. Many will. You can also store and re-use them.
Cardboard boxes can be recycled, but they need to be flattened to no larger than three feet by three feet.
Christmas trees can be left at the curb, but they must be stripped down to the vegetation. No ornaments or lights should be attached. Each county has a pickup plan of its own.
City of Raleigh
Solid Waste Services is running a day behind for the week of Christmas and the week after New Years Day. Scheduled pickup is pushed back a day both weeks.
Christmas trees should be placed alongside any usual waste containers by 7 a.m. on your scheduled pickup day. The city will also pick up natural wreaths if all metal is removed.
Apartment managers and anyone who owns a multifamily complex can call 919-996-6890 to schedule a one-time pickup for multiple trees.
Eight drop-off locations for Christmas trees will be open around the county between Dec. 26 and Jan. 20. They can be found on the countys website: http://bit.ly/R4QXLS.
City of Durham
Christmas trees will be collected starting the first week of January through the end of February.
There will be no pickup on New Years Day, but there will be routine collection on New Years Eve and starting again on Jan. 2.
A special trip can be scheduled by anyone with more than 10 cardboard boxes in need of collection by calling Solid Waste Management at 919-560-4186.
Christmas trees placed curbside will be collected.
Public works will pick up recyclable goods at residences inside the city limits, or they can be dropped off at convenience centers, which can be found on the countys website: http://bit.ly/TlKvA9.
Makeup days for Christmas and New Years Day have been scheduled for Dec. 29 and Jan. 5; all other pickup schedules are unchanged. Anyone with questions can call 919-968-2788.