SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) -The line at the Wellford Landfill was long the day after Christmas. People were getting rid of bags of trash, old toys, and Christmas trees.

“We accept real Christmas trees that are free of all ornaments, tinsel, garland, and lights,” said Jes Sdao, Spartanburg County’s Recycling Coordinator.

Spartanburg County residents can take their real Christmas trees to any of the county’s recycling centers as well as the landfill.

“We do grind them,” said Sdao. “We turn them into mulch.”

Artificial trees with a metal base can be taken to the Wellford Landfill as well as the Cowpens, Hobbysville, Enoree, and Stone Station Recycling Centers.

The county also recycles Christmas lights as well as tissue and wrapping paper.

“Between the Thanksgiving and New Year holiday seasons, Americans generate about 25 percent more waste per week,” explained Sdao. “It amounts to about a million pounds of extra trash per week.” 

If your Christmas tree is still up, firefighters urge you to keep it watered.

“Especially with the real Christmas trees, make sure to water them every day,” said Deputy Fire Chief Todd Mason of the Chesnee Fire Department. “At least check them twice a day.”

Mason explained that trees dry out quickly and can catch fire from the heat that is generated by Christmas lights.

“Especially when they get dry, they engulf pretty much within minutes,” said Mason.

Mason said, luckily, his team has not been called to any house fires this holiday season. But, dry trees put homes at risk.

“We don’t want anyone at this time of year to lose their home,” said Mason.

Spartanburg County residents can take their real trees to the county’s recycling centers until January 31. After that date, they will only be accepted at the Wellford Landfill.

The Army Corps of Engineers also accepts real trees. Their drop-off locations are Twin Lakes and Coneross Creek boat ramps at Lake Hartwell.