By now, your Christmas tree is beginning to turn brown and drop its needles, a sign that it’s time to get it out of the house.
In most towns and cities that collect yard waste, that’s as simple as stripping the tree of all its tinsel and ornaments and dragging it to the curb. Residents in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, Garner, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Wendell and Zebulon can put trees out on their regular collection days, while Fuquay-Varina and Knightdale say trees will be collected at other times. Morrisville and Durham say trees taller than 6 feet should be cut in half.
In addition, Raleigh will collect Christmas trees from apartment and townhouse complexes, though collections are limited to one per complex. Managers should call 919-996-3245 to arrange for a pickup.
In rural areas, residents can take their Christmas trees to solid waste convenience centers:
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▪ Durham County residents with a solid waste decal can drop trees at county convenience sites, except for Rougemont.
▪ Johnston County residents may carry their trees to any solid waste convenience site or to the county landfill at 680 County Home Road. Residents with a solid waste decal can discard trees for free; other residents can expect to pay $5.
▪ Orange County handles Christmas trees like other brush and yard waste at its convenience sites.
▪ Chatham County residents can take trees to the main recycling facility at 28 County Services Road in Pittsboro through Jan. 15. Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
▪ Wake County, which uses old Christmas trees to mulch trails in county parks, will collect trees at designated solid waste convenience centers and county parks through Jan. 24. The convenience centers, which are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, are at 10505 Old Stage Road, 6025 Old Smithfield Road, 3600 Yates Mill Pond Road and 5051 Wendell Blvd.
Wake residents can also drop trees off from 8 a.m. to sunset at: Blue Jay Point County Park on Pleasant Union Church Road; Harris Lake County Park on County Park Drive; Lake Crabtree County Park on Aviation Parkway; and North Wake Landfill District Park off Durant Road in Raleigh.
Local governments that collect Christmas trees turn them into mulch or wood chips, but the Humane Society of the United States recommends another option: Add the tree to your brush pile or simply lay it down in the yard to create a habitat for birds and other wildlife.