| Credit: Flickr user giveawayboy

The presents have been opened, the cookies have been eaten and — to the dismay of house cats everywhere — it’s time to get the Christmas tree and empty gift boxes out of the house.

Before discarding your live tree, be sure to remove all lights, ornaments and other non-organic materials. And, don’t even think about burning that dried up tree in your fireplace or backyard. It can pose a serious house fire hazard and the nitrogen in pine needles can potentially form toxic chemical components when burned.

Try one of these safer methods of Christmas tree disposal instead:

Put it on the curb

Residents in Charleston County, the town of Summerville and city of North Charleston can put Christmas trees on the curb to be picked up on each municipalities’ regularly scheduled day. Check with your local government for a reminder on standard pick-up days.

Pick-up for residents of unincorporated Charleston County will be pushed back by one day this week because there was no service on Dec. 27.

Drop it off at one of these locations

Charleston County:

  • One of six staffed convenience centers
  • McGill Bees Ferry Compost Facility

Dorchester County:

  • Miles Road Convenience Site
  • Sandy Pines Convenience Site

Berkley County:

  • Berkeley County residents should contact Berkeley County Sewage and Water Board to learn more about drop-off locations this season

Recycling other holiday materials:

Charleston County Environmental Management has put out a reminder to all residents regarding recyclable and non-recyclable materials this holiday season.

RECYCLEABLE

  • Gift boxes
  • Broken down cardboard
  • Shoe boxes
  • Paper bags
  • Tissue paper
  • Wrapping paper
  • Cards and envelopes

NONRECYCLEABLE

  • Ribbons and bows
  • Holiday lights
  • Bubble wrap
  • Plastic wrap
  • Styrofoam packaging/ peanuts
  • Plastic shopping bags